During the recent boom, buyers who coveted condos for their sex appeal could also make the case that condos were a smarter choice than co-ops.In theory, you didn’t have to prostrate yourself, financially and otherwise, before a board for approval, You could also put down a lot less money than the 20, 25, or even 50 percent of the purchase price customarily demanded by co-ops. But as the city’s fortunes buckle and heave, some of the city’s condo buildings are dangerously exposed to the downturn. Then there is a distinction that if a condo unit is the subject of a foreclosure, the bank gets first dibs on the equity. With real estate prices way off their peak, that means some condo buildings will collect nothing but dust from residents who have also failed to pay their common charges, leaving the remaining owners to shoulder the burden of higher costs or reduced services.
By Terri Karushi Rogers, Feb 6, 2009, NYT