Be a Smart Co-Op Buyer: Know the Terminalogy

cheerful young couple with a consultant salesmanYou might be an inexperienced, first-time co-op buyer, but nobody needs to know that if you study the co-op terminology before meeting with your broker. To help you decipher all the terms, the National Association of Housing Co-operatives has put together a complete co-op glossary.  You’ll learn the difference between FHA (Federal Housing Administration) and HFA (Housing Finance Agency) and Beemer and PITI.

Below is the list of terms you might encounter during your co-op purchase process. When you see or hear any of them,  make sure to check The National Association of Housing Co-operatives website for definition. (The most common terms are in bold.)

Alteration/Improvement Agreement
Annual Membership Meetings
Articles of Incorporation
Artists Cooperative
Blanket Mortgage
BMIR (“Beemer”)
Board of Directors
Carrying Charges
Conventional Loan
Cooperative Interest
Cooperative Principles
Excess Income
Fannie Mae
Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae or FNMA)
Fee Simple
Flip Tax
General Operating Reserve (GOR)
House Rules
Housing Cooperative
Housing Finance Agency (HFA)
HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)
Income Limits
Internal Revenue Code Section 216
Land-Only Cooperative
Leasehold Cooperative
Leasing Cooperative
Limited-Equity Housing Cooperative
Maintenance Fee
Management Agent (or Management Company)
Management Agreement
Management Plan
Manufactured Housing Park Cooperative
Market-Rate Housing Cooperative
Member Equity
Membership Committee
Membership Meeting
Mitchell-Lama Cooperatives
Mobile Home Park Cooperatives
Monthly Carrying Charges or Monthly Maintenance Fee
Mortgage Insurance
Multifamily Development
Mutual Housing Association
Occupancy Agreement (or Proprietary Lease)
Personal Property
Proprietary Lease
Real Property
Recognition Agreement
Regulatory Agreement
Replacement Reserve
Resale Value
Right of First Approval
Right of First Refusal
Section 8
Section 202
Section 203(n)
Section 213
Section 216
Section 221(d)(3)
Section 221(d)(3) BMIR
Section 236
Senior Housing Cooperative
Share Loan
Site Manager
Stock Certificate (or Membership Certificate or Shares)
Student Housing Cooperative
Subchapter T
Subscription Agreement/Purchase Agreement
Subscription Funds/Purchase Price
Subsidized Housing Cooperative
Sweat Equity
Transfer Value

Author My First Apartment
Seija Goldstein

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Seija Goldstein is My First Condo's General Manager and occasional blogger. She is a business consultant to media companies, and a long-time shareholder in a large New York City co-op. She has survived both kitchen and hallway renovations and is about to redo couple of bathrooms.

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