Condo? Co-Op? Apartment? Townhome? Loft?

4 Oct 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

 housing categoryWhich is which?

Although all are part of the common-interest housing category, condos, co-ops, townhouses, and apartments may mean different things to different buyers, so here is a breakdown of what each word means and the advantages or disadvantages of one over another for the homebuyer.

First, let’s get the low-down on what makes up the common-interest housing real estate category. Common-interest housing is composed of areas owned individually and areas shared by all owners. The shared or common areas typically include landscaping, pools, parking, and clubhouses, but may also include exteriors, fences, and roofs of certain types of properties. Any community development that has shared property, including individually separate homes in developments with shared playgrounds and pools, falls into this category. Often, a management service or homeowners’ association manages the common areas.

Specifically, a condo—or more properly, a condominium—is a single housing unit within the shared property owned by the homeowner. This may be a unit in a tower building (also called an apartment) or a conjoined house with its own ground floor exterior entry (often called a townhouse, although a townhouse is not always a condominium), a single family home or a mobile home in a planned community. The term “condominium” is a legal term in the United States and so is governed by laws of real estate ownership.

In a condominium-style common-interest development (CID), the homeowner owns the interior space of the property independent of the other units and may buy or sell the real estate property as the sole owner of that specific unit.

A co-op—or cooperative housing development —differs in that “owners” own shares in the corporation that owns the real estate development rather than owning an actual unit. Each shareholder has a vote in the real estate corporation and share ownership authorizes the occupancy of a specific unit. Typically, shareholders pay a “share” of the monthly expenses of the real estate corporation. As with a condominium, cooperatives may be apartment-style units in a single building, townhomes or patio homes, single family homes, or even mobile homes. The legal term “cooperative” refers to the real estate ownership structure rather than the property type.

So, what is an apartment? Or a townhouse?

A townhome is a style of house connected on at least one side of the structure to another house. It may be individually owned real estate or part of a CID. A true townhome will have independent sidewalls even though they may touch the walls of another townhome. That being said, many condominium, cooperative, and rental unit designs mimic townhomes, with individual groundfloor entries, back patios or yards, and even differing faces and rooflines. These units may share a wall or roof, however, as part of a single structure.

An apartment is another matter. In common usage, “apartment” is a rental unit rather than privately owned real estate. The person occupying the unit does not own it, but leases it from the owner of the entire real estate development. But in legal terms, an apartment is a part of a residential structure occupied by one housing unit (family, roommates, etc.). An apartment, then, can be a rental, but it may also be a condominium unit (homeowner owns the interior space and shares the other spaces) or a cooperative unit (owner owns shares of the entire development equal to the unit being occupied).

A LOFT is basically a condo without any walls or with partial walls.

Consult your real estate professional to see which type of CID is the best fit for your circumstances in your local real estate market.

The Underrated T-Lofts building

22 Feb 2014 · by ChrisSampaio

Hidden away where the 405 and the 10 intersect among commercial buildings and a few other business is the T-Lofts. Developed in 2008 by Lee Homes and in my opinion their best project by far. The layout of the units is spacious and well appointed, they have balconies and the finishes are very high quality. The building features a gym, hot tub and tons of guest parking featuring electric car chargers. Top off with the low HOA’s and central location and you have a great option for LOFT living on the westside.



14 Feb 2014 · by ChrisSampaio


Today was the ground breaking ceremony for Metropolis. The project which plans to add four new towers to the Downtown skyline is one of the most anticipated developments in Downtown LA. Developed by Greenland and Douglas Ellis and encompassing three residential towers and hotel it will bring much needed for sale units to Downtown LA. The beautifully designed glass towers will be priced from $850 Sq Ft to $950 Sq Ft.

Decoding the Loftway Report

14 Feb 2014 · by ChrisSampaio

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Our Loftway report got tons of exposure this week when we were featured on Curbed LA.

Now what information can you get from the report if you are a buyer or a seller besides the obvious ones? By reading the report I can observe  the following:

4 out of 5 of the most expensive buildings….

  • were built after 2006
  • have pools, 
  • are modern
  • are in south park
  • have a doorman

5 out of 5 of the less expensive buildings

  • are historical

4 out of 5 buildings with most sales….

  • are highrises

5 out of 5 buildings with the most sales…

  • have a pool
  • have a gym

By reading the report a developer would conclude that building a high rise in South Park with a pool, gym and doorman would be the best way to secure the highest price per square foot. 



Home ownership facts

11 Feb 2014 · by ChrisSampaio


According to a recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation’s homeownership rate hasn’t been this low since 1995. In the third quarter of 2013, the rate of homeownership was 65.3 percent.

Homeownership has likely fallen during the housing re- bound due to the large number of investors currently buying homes.

To put things in perspec- tive, it’s interesting to look at international rates of home- ownership. Our rates are nei- ther unusually high nor low by international standards. There are poorer countries with more home and richer ones with fewer. Almost all Bulgar- ians and Lithuanians own their homes, while only 42 percent of Germans and even fewer Swiss do.

The biggest gains in U.S. homeownership came in the two decades after the Great Depression as transportation from job centers to suburbs improved and buyers took advantage of the new 30-year mortgage and Veterans Admin- istration-insured mortgage created by the GI Bill. The homeownership rate climbed 18 percentage points from 1940 to 1960, when it reached 61.9 percent.