Understand what a condominium is before a purchase

Condominiums, which are usually referred to as condos, are homes similar to many others on the market. They offer you a place to live and provide you with many of the rights that you'd gain as a traditional homeowner. The difference is that the development of condominiums is managed by an association, and that association makes rules for the community. The individual owners of the condominiums share ownership of common areas while the association maintains the common areas and sometimes outside areas of the homes.

Like a traditional home purchase, if you want to buy a condo, you'll need to obtain a mortgage. You'll sign a deed for the home, just like you would if it was not part of an association or condo development. The difference is that you will not receive the same level of ownership as you would with a normal home. While you own the home, you may not be able to make changes to your yard, the outside of your home or other common areas, because the association places restrictions on those changes.

Essentially, when you own a condo, you can make changes inside as you see fit, but you are likely not able to do anything to the exterior of the home or to do any gardening, since this would change the outside area.

Overall, the differences in owning a condo versus a home may make it more preferable to some buyers. Without needing to perform maintenance on the outside properties, for instance, you have more time to focus on your property and your personal life. In exchange for the lawn care and other services, you may need to pay a homeowner's association fee.

Our website has more on condominiums and their benefits and downsides. Whether you want to buy or sell, you need to know your rights.