The Pros and Cons of Buying a Condo in a Home Ownership Cooperative

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Condo in a Home Ownership Cooperative

Have you heard about home ownership cooperatives? These community-oriented buildings usually offer housing units at a lower cost than traditional condominiums all while fostering strong ties between neighbours.  


This real estate ownership model comes with several advantages, but also certain features that may be less desirable for some people. Read on to find out if purchasing a condo in a home ownership cooperative is right for you!

What Is It?

A home ownership co-op combines traditional condo ownership with a housing cooperative. The latter consists of low-cost rental apartments where each tenant must contribute to regular building operations and maintenance.

In recent years, the Confédération québécoise des coopératives d’habitation has initiated a few such housing development projects in which the building is managed as if it were a housing co-op, but where the residents are owners of their individual unit instead of tenants.

How Much Do Units Cost?

On average, these condos are 25% less expensive than their equivalent on the market. This means that people who do not have the financial means to purchase a traditional property can become homeowners. For example, if you are interested in a condo unit with an estimated construction cost of $400,000, its sale price will be set at $300,000.

The remaining $100,000 is paid by the Fonds Coop Accès Proprio (FCAP), a fund created by the Confédération québécoise des coopératives d’habitation and made possible through the financial participation of the Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ), among others. Not only is it an attractive option because of the low-purchase price, but likewise because of the reduced condominium fees.

Prices Won’t Skyrocket

Countering inflation is no easy task; however, home ownership cooperatives are designed to keep sales prices stable. For many, this can be a disadvantage: a minimal increase in value means a minimal return on investment upon resale.

A homeowner who sells their unit will receive 40% of its appreciation in value; the remainder will be split between the co-op and FCAP so that the next buyer can also purchase a condo at an affordable price.

Members Must Pitch In

In addition to not maximizing profits as is usually the case in real estate, another aspect that may displease many is the obligation to get involved. The owners that live in the condo building support each other and become a community in which everyone is expected to actively participate in the running of the co-op. In other words, the burden of maintaining common areas and carrying out administrative tasks must be equally shared among members. That’s why you have to submit an application and be interviewed by a committee that will decide if you can — or cannot — purchase a unit in their association. 

Sounds like this might be for you? Visit the following projects’ websites for more information: Presbytère Saint-Roch (in Quebec), Havre des Pins (in Sherbrooke), Des Prés (in Waterville) and Le Petit Quartier in (Fleurimont).

RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

A leader in the real estate industry since 1982, the RE/MAX network brings together the most efficient brokers.