Many people are confused about the difference between a condominium and a cooperative.
With condominium ownership, you own the space that you purchase. In contrast, with cooperatives, you do not actually own the real estate or the space; instead, you own shares in a corporation. The square footage of your apartment defines how many shares you have.
The primary difference between condos and co-ops is basically expenses. When you own a co-op, your property taxes are included in your monthly fee. More often than not, your utilities are included as well.
To own a co-op, you must fill out an application, go through an interview process, and be approved by the committee representing the cooperative before your settlement date.