Condos and cooperatives (co-ops) are prevalent in some areas and rare in others, although condos are much more abundant than co-ops. Both types of dwellings can be similar in appearance, but differences exist, as well. Co-ops are most often apartments that are not used as conventional apartments. A corporation is formed to either build or buy an apartment building. Co-op owners are sold stock in the corporation that allows them to live in one of the apartments. The buyers of co-ops do not own real estate; they own stock in a corporation. When a buyer purchases a condo, they own the property interior, but not the exterior or the grounds. These are very different types of ownership than traditional homeowners are accustomed to.
Across the United States, condos are popular investment properties. Many investors buy condos at beaches or ski resorts. Co-ops, generally associated with large cities, usually are not considered to be as glamorous as condos. Of course, there are exceptions to most rules, and some co-op buildings are very prestigious. From an investor’s point of view, condos normally are considered the better of the two types of dwellings to put your money into.
What’s the difference between a condo and a co-op? Physical differences can be slight, but ownership elements differ significantly. Most importantly, if you buy a condo, you receive a deed to prove ownership in real property. Buying a co-op gets you stock in a corporation, but no deed to real estate. You can sell your condo to anyone you wish, just as you could do a house, but the person buying your co-op may have to be approved by a board consisting of members of the corporation that owns the co-op building. Also, restrictions of owners’ rights often are much more severe for co-op owners.
Condos are somewhat different from co-ops when it comes to what an owner can and cannot do with the property. If you buy a condo, you can make chances to the interior space. For example, if you don’t like the kitchen cabinets and counters, you can replace them. Don’t count on being able to do this in a co-op. It must be stressed that each planned development, whether a condo or co-op, can have individual rules, and you must be well aware of them before purchasing a unit to avoid problems down the road.
In most cases, both condos and co-ops can be used as rental properties; however, restrictions placed on specific properties may limit or prohibit such use. This is why it’s important that you check all of the documentation associated with any condo or co-op before you buy it. Again, developers and corporation owners set their own rules for their condos and co-ops. Don’t assume anything. Prohibitions concerning nonowner-occupied units would be a disaster for an investor.
A Case for National Savings and Investments
Putting £1 into NS&I is like Buying a Never Ending Lottery Ticket..
It’s been a while now since Sir Alan Sugar was on our TV screens extolling the virtue of investing in NS&I Premium Bonds but let’s hope that, particularly in these troubled economic times, the scheme continues to remain at the fore front of UK savers’ minds.
We all know how bad things are for savers at the moment. Take your eye off the ball for just a few weeks and interest rates on your investments can suddenly fall into a big fat zero rated black hole.
So if interest rates are, in general so poor across the board why not simply pin your hopes on buying a lottery ticket?
‘Hang on’ I hear you cry. ‘What sort of financial advice is that for heavens sake?’
Well, okay most of us will know from painful experience that buying lottery tickets is perhaps not such a sound investment idea. When we walk into our local newsagent early of a Wednesday or Saturday evening to purchase our lucky dips, thunder balls etc. the shop keeper happily takes our cash and hands us back what usually turns out to be a completely worthless piece of paper.
Later that same evening the screwed up piece of paper almost inevitably ends up in the bin and apart from contributing a few coppers to the building of some plush over budget Olympic swimming pool down South somewhere we’re left a full pound worse off.
Wouldn’t it be much better if the aforementioned shop keeper could call us all back in to say ‘Bad luck. Never mind, here’s your pound back. Please feel free to have another go.’
What’s that? Your local shop keeper doesn’t do that? Well okay, as it happens mine doesn’t either funnily enough.
But when you think about it that sort of scenario is exactly the deal the National Savings Scheme offers us all every month. Every pound invested gets included in each successive monthly draw until the time comes when you need to withdraw your investment.
It’s true that the prizes on offer may not be quite so grand but each month there are generally two lucky millionaires created and approx. 1.3m other prizes to be won ranging from £25.00 to £100k.
As with the vast majority of our household planning it was Mrs Antidote who got us started with the Premium Bond scheme and every now and then for the last couple of years we have been throwing in some cash at intervals to build up our chances.
Along the way we have won a number of £50 prizes, a particularly welcome £500 prize on one occasion and just recently a rather more meagre £25 cheque dropped through our letter box. The latter reflecting the much reduced interest rates which unfortunately have, it must be said, effected the prize pool since the credit crunch.
Despite which, the accumulative cheques we have received to date have more than made up for any loss of interest in our other investments.
But the main thing for us is that each month our £s are still working for us ‘in the draw’ Every month it’s like walking into that local newsagent of ours and saying ‘I’ll have another 5000 lucky dips please.’
Now that would be one piece of paper I’d really hate to throw in the bin!