Condominiums are popular among people who want to combine the most convenient aspects of apartments and home ownership. They can be an attractive option for those who no longer wish to rent or lease the property they live in. If you're thinking of moving into a condominium, you may be confused by the unique terminology you may run into, so let's define certain key terms associated with them.
Condominium - A type of multi-unit housing in which each unit is owned by its occupant, who in turn holds partial ownership in the other areas of the building. It differs from an apartment building in that the residents do not rent but own the units. Each owner is responsible for the sale of his or her unit. They can also rent or lease the unit to another party.
Common elements - The areas of a condo that collectively belong to its residents. These can include pool areas and laundry rooms. Limited common elements are those allocated to some but not all of the condo residents.
Condo association - An organization involved in regulating various aspects of the condominium property, such as making repairs. Condominium residents are typically required to pay a monthly fee, often called an assessment, to the association. The association can be made up of condominium owners or professional managers. Sometimes called a homeowners association.
Reserve fund - The money set aside by the condo association for maintenance and repairs.
Waterfront condo - A condominium built next to a body of water, such as an ocean, lake, or river. Due to high demand, waterfront condos sales usually command premium prices.
Townhouse - A type of housing arrangement in which houses are set in a row and share walls.
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Condominiums are essentially apartments that a person owns rather than rents or leases; they also might pay association fees to help with the maintenance of the building and grounds around the condos. Condominiums usually will contain kitchens, laundry rooms, and multiple bedrooms and can be very luxurious or have a very contemporary look. Condominiums also often come with 24 hour security services. Buying and selling condos is usually done by real estate agents but they can also be put up for sale by the previous owner.
Condominiums differ from townhouses in the fact that condominiums can be high rises, multi-bedroom, or even similar to the style of a hotel, whereas townhouses usually only have one or two units per building and are houses rather than high rise buildings. Many new condominiums offer luxury features and can be found in any part of the cities including downtown. Real estate agents will also offer more services when dealing with purchasing condos rather than renting apartments.
An excellent way to get more information about the differences between condos both old and new, townhouses, and luxury vacation sales is to speak with a real estate agent who has access to multiple listings in all areas. Other information can usually be found through online sites and sometimes brochures that include property for lease, condo listings, and vacation property for sale.
Many people consider condos more of a home than apartments because they own them rather than rent them. Condominiums can include almost anything from luxury kitchens, multiple bathrooms, and can even come completely furnished. They may be downtown or in the suburbs and they can come in almost any size.