Apartments, condos, and co-ops are all buildings that have multiple units, but they are not the same. Waikiki saw its boom in high rise construction in the 1960s; new multi-unit buildings are still being constructed today. This article explains the similarities and differences between these structures in Hawaii. You can watch the Ask Doug! episode on this topic here.
- There is one owner; this owner receives the tax bill
- Tenants rent each unit
- Tenants may have access to but do not own any common areas
- There could be as many different owners as there are units in the building, though some owners may own multiple units
- Each owner receives a tax bill on their unit or units
- Unit owners have ownership of the common areas
- These buildings are incorporated differently. They are set up as a non-profit and people buy a share of the entire building and sign a contract that allows an owner of the share to occupy a unit
- The corporation is collectively owned but owners own a share of stock of the co-op but not the actually unit
- Co-op owners have ownership of common areas
- Day to day living is not much different than a condo; the differences are biggest when you are trying to purchase in a co-op
- In Hawaii, only a few banks will lend on them
- They require a larger down payment, typically 30%
- There may be a board inquiry
- This dates back to the time when if there was a foreclosure, it was on the entire building. In the 1980s, Governor Ariyohsi allowed for individual units to be foreclosed on rather than the whole building; board inquiries remain
- More leeway in who they let in to the co-op
- There is more financial scrutiny and they can discriminate against potential owners of a coop, as long as the discrimination isn’t based on protected classes such as race or gender.
- Real property taxes in Hawaii are lower in most of the coops. One check goes out to the maintenance office and are collected as part of maintenance fee.
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