Understanding the Difference Between Co-ops and Condos

Potomac Plaza is not a condominium. Rather, it is a cooperative corporation (co-op) managed by a Board of Directors elected annually by the members of the co-op, who own shares in the corporation and occupy individual apartments. Washington is second only to New York City in the concentration of this type of home ownership.

Flowering TreesA great advantage of co-op ownership is that the corporation is able to negotiate lower rates for services such as utilities and insurance. Potomac Plaza is financially strong, and the building is carefully maintained and updated.

Unlike the practice in a condominium, the single monthly maintenance fee paid by members covers utility costs (heating, cooling, electricity, water, and sewer), trash collection, property taxes, and insurance on the building. Individual owners have to pay only for their own telephone, internet, cable TV, and insurance on the contents of their apartments.

Learn more by reading Co-ops 101: Cooperative Housing Ownership in Washington, DC, a publication of the DC Cooperative Housing Coalition.