Thinking Condo or considering the purchase of a Condo? Are you a "condo person"? Most people who are, know they are. If you don't know, then you need to educate yourself a bit. It will help you decide what type of property you should purchase; Condominium or Freehold. There are different types of condos, but the most common are condominium apartments and condominium town houses.
What is a Condominium? The definition from ABOUT.COM states: A condominium is one of a group of housing units where each homeowner owns their individual unit space, all the dwellings share ownership of areas of common use. What are common use areas? Well, the lobby, the gym, the pool, the media lounge, the hallways, any outdoor space (yes, including your private balcony or terrace!), and the party room are all prime examples. While numerous common areas have been noted here, the actual list will more than likely be much longer and will depend on the offerings of the condominium complex itself. Individual units may also share walls. The main difference between condos and freehold properties is that you do not own a plot of land. All the land a condominium sits on is part of the common area which is owned by everyone. When you receive a deed to your condominium, it is for the unit you purchased, not the land the building sits on.
A condominium is a Corporation which is overseen by a property manager. The property manager collects monthly fees that covers building maintenance. Maintenance is an area where there are large differences between the two types of ownership. Each month, the condominium owner pays fees that go to the general running, upkeep and maintenance of the corporation. The monthly fees cover things such as lawn and garden care, snow removal, upkeep of facilities (i.e. gym, pool, sauna, party room, etc.), elevators, access roads, parking garages, exterior window washing, concierge services, gate house services, plumbing, roofing, windows, etc. Part of the monthly fee is also directed to a reserve fund (kind of a rainy day fund to cover things such as unexpected major repair work).
As an owner of a condominium, you are responsible for the upkeep of the interior of your home. For example, plumbing issues (only those pipes which are accessible, including behind shower walls), heating and air conditioning, interior window washing and general cleaning and maintenance.
Some condominium corporations will also cover the fees for water, electricity, heating, air conditioning, parking and cable television. More and more, you will find that condominiums are no longer covering the fees for electricity and water. The amount of the monthly fee is directly related to the size of your unit.
The main "plus" of condominium ownership, according to many people, is the fact that when you leave your unit, you lock the door and forget about it. Security is generally top-notch. This is a great feature if you travel frequently.
If you have any questions regarding the condominium lifestyle, please contact me, or visit my website www.gtamoves.com or www.vitopirri.com . Ready to take the leap? Click here to order your condo!