A Beginner’s Guide to Condominiums

The condominium market has ido rising steadily in recent years. According to the National Association of REALTORS (R), condominium values increased by more than 27 percent between 2000 and 2002, and the median value of condos ($ 163500) sat just below that of single-family homes ($ 168400) in mid – 2003. While this trend is not guaranteed to continue, the condominium market has regained momentum and the importance it had in the initial boom of condominiums the 1980’s.

Condo buyers are divided into three main groups: for the first time buyers to quit rent; people looking to buy a second home that will use part-time and retirees who are trading in high-end housing for low-maintenance a lifestyle offers condominiums.

A condominium can be a great purchase under the right set of circumstances, but some people still dismiss as glorified apartments. If you do not feel comfortable living in condominium rules and restrictions, and in close proximity to others, then a condominium is probably not the place for you. Before buying a condominium, be sure to understand exactly what is involved in condominium living.

What exactly is a condominium?

A condominium development can take the form of style apartment complexes, townhouses or become multi-family dwellings. What distinguishes it from other multi-tenant buildings is that the developer has legally declared that a condominium, and individuals can purchase units in the building or complex. In most states, this means that development is specially designated under the laws and regulations applied to condominiums.

When buying a condominium, the owner acquires title to his unit, until the walls, but not between them. A description of a condominium is a “box in the air.”

The common areas of development, such as stairways, dividing and exterior walls, gyms and rooftop gardens, are shared ownership. Each unit owner has any interest in these spaces. In order to manage the maintenance and repair of common areas shared, each condominium development has a condominium association, also known as a unit owners association. The association is elected by the owners of condominiums and makes decisions in the communal interest of the community.

Condo costs include:

  • Arras, mortgage and property tax
  • Condo fees, also known as maintenance fees. Condo fees are paid by all residents to help with building maintenance, salaries of groundskeepers, janitors or tasks, and provide facilities such as luxury swimming pool, gym or rooftop garden. Condo fees are paid monthly and are subject to change
  • Special assessment rates. These rates can be requested when an unexpected repair or planned modification exceeds the cost of fees collected condominium

Rules to live by

Condominiums are governed by a set of rules called covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC & Rs). The rules vary from one to another condominium development. They can impose restrictions on ownership of pets, noise levels, remodeling projects, and rent. The CC & R are implemented by the condominium association. It’s a good idea to read the CC & R to make sure you’re comfortable with them before buying a condominium.

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