Buying and Owning a Condominium can be very different from purchasing other types of properties. When you purchase a condominium you are in a sense joining a community of other owners who share in your financial interest and well being. Purchasing in a well run, well maintained complex can be a pleasure. Living in a complex that is poorly run can be a nightmare.
Some of the advantages of living in a well run complex are:
- Low initial purchase cost.
- No worry about maintaining the exterior of the building, the landscaping, the roof, etc.
- Access to amenities such as a clubhouse, pool, exercise facility for shared cost.
- A property manager to handle the day-to-day operations of the property.
There are several different types of shared ownership properties. Knowing the difference can be important when examining the type of property you want.
- Condominiums are shared ownership homes where the owner owns the unit named on the deed including a portion of the land the unit is on and a portion of the common area of the development.
- Co-Ops are shared ownership homes where the owner owns an interest in all of the common areas and a right to reside within the designated space or unit. You are a member of the ownership group but no "real property" is deeded to the occupants.
- Townhouse is a shared ownership property where the owner owns the unit, the land beneath the unit and a portion of the common areas of the community.
People are often confused between townhouses and condominiums because of the architecture style of some communities. It is the ownership rights that determine the type of property you are buying.
Shared ownership properties are almost always governed by a Condominium Owners Association (COA) or Home Owners Association (HOA) which oversees the management of the community. The COA or HOA often contracts out the day-to-day operation to a professional property manager. Each community will have its own set of rules and regulations often referred to as Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs).