What is a Co-Op Apartment? (Layout Options)

Updated August 1, 2021
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Finding a new place to call your own can feel like a complex journey. While the idea of upgrading or changing your space is exciting, the logistics of the process are not. 

There are many different kinds of homes you can choose from, and figuring out the type that suits you and your lifestyle best is the place to start on your search for a new spot. 

So, is a co-op apartment-style the best choice for your needs? First, we’re going to dive into what exactly a co-op apartment is and tell you some of the pros and cons of living in one. 

What is a Co-Op Apartment? 

Co-op apartments are kind of a sweet spot in-between owning and renting. An example of a co-op living situation would be a large building with multiple tenants who might be a mix of owners and renters but still pay association fees. This is different from living in an apartment building because you own your home in a cooperative housing situation. 

Living in a housing cooperative does have some differences from regular single-family home-owning. Similar to a standard rental apartment, you will have specific rules and limitations based on the guidelines set out by the corporation that owns the building. 

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Even though you aren’t a renter, you must still follow the community guidelines. You will pay HOA or upkeep fees to the owner of the building as well. This gets you off the hook for many different maintenance tasks, like cutting the grass or appliance repairs. 

Co-op apartments can range in the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. The size and layout of the apartment can also vary based on the building. 

Benefits of a Co-Op Apartment 

Living in a co-op comes with some significant advantages. Here are some of the pros of co-op-style living. 


  • Higher owner occupancy
  • Fewer maintenance responsibilities 
  • Less expensive way to purchase a home 


Living in a co-op apartment or co-op condominium can be an excellent option for someone interested in owning their home but who doesn’t necessarily want all of the responsibility that comes with owning a home. The fees you pay in a co-op cover many different upkeep factors that would come with normal homeownership. 

There are also some financial advantages that come with purchasing a co-op. You will typically not pay the same prices that you would expect to pay when purchasing a traditional single-family home when you buy a co-operation property. Owning a co-op will help you start gaining equity and expanding your real estate portfolio as well. These factors can make living in a co-op apartment pretty enticing. 

Negatives of Co-Op Apartments 

There are also some downsides to living in a co-op apartment. Here are some of the cons of living in a co-op. 



  • Rules and restrictions
  • Down payment  
  • Limited rental potential 


Though not having to worry about maintenance sounds convenient, and for many people, it very much is, there are also owner agreements that come with owning a coop apartment. 

The limitations or rules can range from restrictions on renting out your property, restricting the number or size of pets you can own in the property, and the types of outdoor furniture or decor you can use. 

If you’re someone who isn’t one to deal with rules and restrictions, then a co-op is probably not your best option. Instead, a condo could be a better option for someone who wants to have a little more freedom.

co-op apartment
Brand new apartment building on sunny day in British Columbia, Canada

Co-Op Round-Up 

Living in a co-op apartment can be a great option. For someone who wants a little more than standard apartment renting but a little less responsibility than homeownership, a co-op may be perfect. While co-op living does come with some rules and regulations, it can also be a more hassle-free way to live.

If you want more say in the decisions regarding your co-op building, you can opt to become part of your community’s co-op board. The people on the board are in charge of decisions related to shared living space and rules and regulations for the residents. 

Where Might I Find a Co-Op Apartment?

Coop apartments are available in many different places. Major cities may be more likely to have coop apartments. The best way to find coop apartments is to inquire with your local housing authority.

How Do I Get a Co-Op Apartment? 

As you would if you were purchasing a single-family home, you have to go through an approval process to get a loan for a co-op apartment. When you sign a proprietary lease for a co-op apartment, you also must get approved by the co-op board to become approved. To find your next home, check out Bigos Apartments. With many different size options and layouts in a variety of locations, your next home awaits you.

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