Capitol Hill & Real Estate

The Benefits of Choosing to Live in a Co-op vs. a Condo

If you’re searching for a condo to buy in Seattle, you’ll likely come across some co-op buildings in your home search adventures. So what’s the difference between a co-op and a condo, and what are the pros and cons? 

What is the technical difference between a co-op and a condo? 

First of all, we want to clear up this difference: 

  • In a co-op, you own a share of an entire building and you technically lease your unit. 
  • With a condo, you own your unit in a multi unit structure. 

What are the benefits of a co-op over a condo? 

Our latest listing is a 1-bedroom, 1-bath in the Princeton Co-operative in the heart of Capitol Hill. Many people are unfamiliar with what living in a co-op actually entails. Here are a few big benefits that many co-op dwellers enjoy: 

  • In a co-op, HOA dues typically cover utilities, taxes, and building insurance. This usually means that co-ops end up being substantially cheaper than condo living when you look at monthly expenses. Condos might include water/garbage/sewer, but you’re usually on your own for the rest. 
  • If you could find a condo for $300k in Capitol Hill (it’s definitely going to be a studio if you can even find one at this price point!), you also have to consider that you’ve got about $3,500 in property taxes for the year added in. 
  • Typically HOA dues are also much higher in a condo. However, a condo may get you more as you’re hiring a property management company to do all of the building maintenance work. With a co-op, members pay less in HOA dues but also may have to take on more responsibility with running with building. 
  • In co-ops, you’re likely to get to know your neighbors more as you serve on the building’s board together, work on community projects together, and share hallways with other like-minded residents. For many people, having a strong sense of community is a big perk of living in a co-op. 

Our latest Capitol Hill co-op listing is a 1-bedroom, 1-bath in the Princeton Co-operative. 

You can read more about what being a member of the Princeton Co-operative entails to get a better sense of co-op life: 

The Princeton Co-operative offers much more than just a place to live—here, you can become friends with your neighbors and truly become part of a community. When COVID-19 is over, residents are looking forward to enjoying building Christmas parties, summer barbecues, work parties, and board meetings in person once again! 

And since the Princeton Co-operative is owned and operated by members, you get to have a say in the direction of the building. 

Here are a few of the projects that members have worked on together, and the costs associated with living in the building.

  • There is an Airbnb unit that the building collectively owns and operates. Renting this out helps to keep the building’s funds healthy and is a unique, major asset for residents. Also, members can rent the Airbnb nightly for 50% off, which is very convenient for those who may have family or friends visiting from out of town. 
  • Monthly dues cover water, sewer, heat, fiber internet, property taxes, building insurance, free onsite laundry, basement storage unit, and access to basement bike storage. For this particular listing, dues are $414/month. Hallway closets are available to rent for extra storage at $20/month, and garages in the alley are also available to rent. 
  • In 2018, a brand new roof was installed. Princeton Co-operative board also has a front yard landscaping project plan in the works to freshen up the entryway. 

Click here to view this Capitol Hill co-op! 

Want to know more?


Matt Miner

Real estate guru and Seattle know-it-all


In everything that I do as your REALTOR®, I have one guiding principle in mind: To make certain that your home-buying or selling experience is a happy, successful, wonderful life experience! We build trust and security with our clients using knowledge and transparency.