What Is A Condo?
There are various types of properties available, providing different features for people with a variety of needs. If you are thinking of a more affordable property or somewhere easy to maintain, a condo suits you.
In a condominium or condo, a single building is divided into a number of separately owned units. The area around a condo is shared among the residents in terms of ownership as well as usage.
Condominiums are mostly built as apartments, but there are also rowhouse-style and detached condominiums, where the units open directly to the outside and are not above each other. In these types of condos, the common areas like yards, laundry rooms, corridors, and amenities (like pools, sports courts, etc.) are commonly owned and maintained.
Differences btw Condos and Other Housing Types
When we explained what a condo is, we focused mostly on how it is different from other types of properties. In fact, it’s better to define it in comparison to similar assets. So, to have a better understanding of the condo definition, it would be helpful to compare it with other kinds of property one by one. So, if you’re thinking about renting or buying a condo, go in with open eyes
condo vs. House
Condo and house owners, both own the property.
Owners of houses own both the home structure and the land it sits on, in contrast to condo owners who only own the unit they live in and not the ground it is built on. Additionally, all unit owners shared the nearby outdoor area. It’s a reason for condos being more affordable than single-family houses.
Since condo residents are shared common areas, the homeowners’ insurance as well as maintenance costs and duties are shared. So not only won’t you be responsible for maintenance, but a condo’s costs are lower than a house’s.
On the other hand, in a house, you make the rules while in a condo, the association does. There are some common rules among condos you need to follow.
Condo vs. Apartment
The main difference between a condo and an apartment is ownership.
Apartments are often part of a larger residential building and are rented to the residents. Condos are similar in structure – with even larger buildings than apartments – while being owned by the residents.
In both cases, the residents are responsible for the taxes, regardless of whether they are owners or tenants.
Additionally, in an apartment, the owner makes the rules, while in a condo, the association does.
Condo vs. Townhouse
A townhouse is very similar to a house. The only difference is that townhouses may share a wall with neighbors.
So they are different from condos in terms of ownership. Townhouse owners owned the building as well as the surrounding land, on the other hand, condo owners did not own the land, only the building.
Different types of condos
There are two different kinds of condos: freehold and leasehold. The primary distinction between the two is the type of ownership that each individual possesses. As opposed to leasehold condos, which are based on a contract, freehold condos are fully owned by the owner.
There are various condo types available, each with great qualities.
Condos are commonly referred to as owned apartments with shared spaces because of their structural similarities to apartments. However, there are some differences between a condo and an apartment; in apartments, the owner sets the rules, while in condos, the association does. There are also common areas and amenities in condos for which the owners are not responsible, while apartment residents can’t take advantage of such a thing.
The structure of a detached condominium is similar to that of a single family home with no shared wall, but it still offers the same benefits of condominium living, such as access to common areas and facilities and freedom from exterior maintenance such as painting, mowing the lawn, and roof repairs. A detached condo – also known as a private condo – can range in size from a two-bedroom cottage type to a house with three thousand square feet or more.
Typically, you’ll find them gathered in communities near urban areas.
A rowhouse condo is like a line of detached condos next to each other with shared walls. They also take advantage of shared amenities and association management, as in a typical condo. Rowhouse condominiums are likewise subject to the condo rules.
Timeshare condos, also known as condo shares, are frequently used as second homes or holiday homes. Each year, a specific amount of time and days are set aside for its renters to enjoy the apartment.
Condominium shares aren’t considered investment properties because they typically have costs like maintenance and property taxes, but they provide real estate in desirable areas for a small fraction of the cost of resorts or hotels when people are on vacation.
Although there are several condo building types, they also differ in terms of authority. For example, freehold condos and conventional condo buildings give owners entire control over the location and the home, in contrast to condo buildings where owners are only accountable for the inside of the premise and are unable to replace or repair an external wall on their own. There are still shared areas that the association oversees for freehold condos, though.
With all the varieties available, before purchasing a condo you should think about the condo lifestyle – because common areas, taxes, and rules in a condo can be different from those in a house or an apartment – unless you are going to buy a condo for investment purposes.
How is It to Live in a Condo
Living in a condo is different from living in other types of homes in terms of expenses, what the owners or tenants have to pay for, restrictions, amenities, and so on. You should take into account that, if you live in a condo, your neighbors share walls and other spaces with you. So there are rules to make living in a community enjoyable for the residents. In other words, a condo lifestyle differs from other types of homes.
The main factors you need to consider before purchasing a condo are as the following:
- Before buying a condo, inquire about the complex’s bylaws and become familiar with them.
- The costs of the amenities and common areas are shared, so it is less than you might imagine. Even fixing things outside of your apartment is not your responsibility. Your only area of responsibility is the inside of the home.
- Since there are various amenities in various condominiums, don’t forget to take these into account as well.
Why Buy a Condo?
By living in a condo you’ll take advantage of shared areas and amenities, while you are not responsible for upkeeping and the expenses will also be shared. These are only some compelling reasons to live in the condo development.
Condos are also safe due to their secure neighborhood. In fact, living close to other people with shared areas makes a sense of belonging and provides situations in which people have a chance to make friends who share many characteristics.
You may also buy a condo as an investment rather than for living. If so, renting out the condo will allow you to recoup the loan’s charges as well as any taxes and other outlays.
How to Find a Condo to Buy or Rent?
There are real estate companies working on it if you are considering renting or buying a condo. Additionally, they have maintained websites so that individuals who lack the time or reside in another city or country can view the pictures and read about them online.
To access those pages, simply search for the area and “condo” on Google. You can also look at the “condos for sale” page, where you can select a region from the map to see available condos or choose one from the condo images that are shown below the map.
Click the location sign to view the condos that are currently available in the area. The name of the condominium building will then appear in a box. To view the condo’s details, simply click the box.
Frequently Asked Questions about Condos
1.What are the average monthly condo fees?
When you buy a condo, your expenses could vary from year to year as well as monthly. Condo amenities and the size of common areas have a significant impact on the cost of a condo fee. However, there are a few things that, when taken into account, let you reduce the fees.
If there isn’t enough reserve money, events like condo property damage, a fire, or even a badly needed upgrade to a communal area could result in higher monthly rates. Ask whether there are any impending special assessments to anticipate these costs. If not, you risk receiving a hefty one-time maintenance charge bill.
The condo association’s legal expenses may also have an impact on your monthly budget. Look into your condo’s liability insurance and find out if there are any active lawsuits before buying one. Condo litigation could be expensive, but it also suggests bad management and conflict in the neighborhood when it happens frequently.
2.What do condo fees cover?
Make sure that the amenities and services you are looking for are included in the monthly condo fees.
Although common areas are normally covered by HOA fees, it’s important to fully understand how fees work with the association before buying a condo. To avoid future headaches, find out whether condo rates have recently increased and if any future hikes are anticipated.
The following are some of the things often covered by the fees:
Common area maintenance and insurance
Amenities like the pool, tennis courts, etc.
Basic cable TV
3.Can I see the association’s latest financial report and annual budget?
Yes, there are financial reports that outline the costs associated with managing the property and the intended use of your HOA membership fees. These financial reports will also demonstrate how effectively the property is managed and whether you should anticipate any future financial difficulties.
4.What does condo insurance cover?
Insurance coverage is an additional factor to think about when purchasing a condo. The overall cost of an all-inclusive master policy might be lower. But if the condo association has made financial compromises, their insurance may not cover your personal property or the equipment in your unit. So it would be helpful if you research the policy, to prevent the need for expensive extra insurance.
5.What is the potential resale value?
Even though you can’t forecast the future, there are a few things to take into account to make sure you’re investing wisely. You can avoid future difficulties selling your condo by looking for condo communities with fewer renters or that are for buyers only, with condo fees that are within the neighborhood’s average range, and the fewest unsold units.
6.What is the ratio of owners to renters?
A less-owner-occupied building could be a riskier investment because it might turn off you and potential buyers. If there are many tenants in the building, it can be more difficult to sell your apartment later on, and the value of your home might not increase as quickly. As a result, in some buildings, the HOA restricts the amount of space available for renters.
Additionally, finding financing could be more difficult if you’re hoping for an FHA loan. A property must have at least 50% of its units occupied by owners in order to qualify for an FHA loan.
7.What are the association rules and how is the building managed?
This question is covered on this page: condo association and rules.