Advertiser Disclosure

We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make smarter financial decisions by providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content, by enabling you to conduct research and compare information for free - so that you can make financial decisions with confidence.ubraintv-jp.com has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover.

You are watching: Which best describes how a condominium is owned

How We Make Money.

The offers that appear on this site are from companies that compensate us. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within the listing categories. But this compensation does not influence the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not include the universe of companies or financial offers that may be available to you.


Written by
Jennifer Bradley Franklin
Written by
Jennifer Bradley Franklin
Contributing writer
Jennifer Bradley Franklin is a multi-platform journalist and author, often covering finance, real estate and more.
*

Jennifer Bradley Franklin
April 20, 2021/7 min read

Edited By
Suzanne De Vita
Edited by
Suzanne De Vita
Mortgage editor
Suzanne De Vita is the mortgage editor for ubraintv-jp.com, focusing on mortgage and real estate topics for homebuyers, homeowners, investors and renters.

*
*

Suzanne De Vita
April 20, 2021/7 min read
Share this page

Share


At ubraintv-jp.com we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to stricteditorial integrity, this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation forhow we make money.


Editorial Integrity

ubraintv-jp.com follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that we’re putting your interests first. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions.

Key Principles

We value your trust. Our mission is to provide readers with accurate and unbiased information, and we have editorial standards in place to ensure that happens. Our editors and reporters thoroughly fact-check editorial content to ensure the information you’re reading is accurate. We maintain a firewall between our advertisers and our editorial team. Our editorial team does not receive direct compensation from our advertisers.

Editorial Independence

ubraintv-jp.com’s editorial team writes on behalf of YOU – the reader. Our goal is to give you the best advice to help you make smart personal finance decisions. We follow strict guidelines to ensure that our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Our editorial team receives no direct compensation from advertisers, and our content is thoroughly fact-checked to ensure accuracy. So, whether you’re reading an article or a review, you can trust that you’re getting credible and dependable information.


How We Make Money

You have money questions. ubraintv-jp.com has answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey.

ubraintv-jp.com follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that our content is honest and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the right financial decisions. The content created by our editorial staff is objective, factual, and not influenced by our advertisers.

We’re transparent about how we are able to bring quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you by explaining how we make money.

ubraintv-jp.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, ubraintv-jp.com does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.


For some house hunters, the thought of maintaining a house and a yard conjures up anxiety. Luckily, there are different kinds of properties to choose from that don’t entail a lot of upkeep — and come at a reasonable price to boot. One of those options is a condominium.

What is a condo? Should you buy one? Here’s a primer on condo living to help you decide if it’s right for your lifestyle.

What is a condominium?

A condominium, called “condo” for short, is a privately-owned individual unit within a community of other units. Condo owners jointly own shared common areas, such as pools, garages, elevators and outside hallways and gyms, to name a few. While condos are usually found in high-rise buildings, you can find detached condos in some markets.


“A homeowners association typically manages the common areas and oversees the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that apply to the property,” explains Holly Leonard, a real estate agent and owner of Haven Real Estate Brokers in Atlanta. “Condominiums are often referred to as a ‘common interest development.’”

Why buy a condo?

For many buyers, the answer to this question is simplicity. With most condo developments, you only have to take care of the interior. All the rest is handled by a professional management company. There’s no lawn to cut, flowerbeds to maintain or driveways to be cleared of snow.

Another important piece is the price tag. Condos have historically been more affordable than single-family homes, and that trend continues today. In fact, condos appreciated at a slower pace than that of single-family homes in 2020, according to Black Knight data, and sold for approximately 17 percent less, representing a savings of around $58,000, real estate brokerage Redfin reports.

Condos are often cheaper in terms of taxes, too: A smaller space means a smaller bill from the county.

There’s also a community life that single-family homes often don’t provide, including shared spaces and amenities, events and more. It’s a lot easier to take off and pursue travel or live seasonally in another area with the peace of mind of knowing that once you lock the door, everything will be taken care of.

Factors to consider before you buy a condo

What is the difference between an apartment and a condo?

Structurally, condos and apartments can look the same, but the key difference between a condo and an apartment is ownership: You own a condo, and you rent an apartment. (In some limited markets like New York City, however, you can buy an apartment.)

Both kinds of dwellings typically have multiple floors and units on each with shared amenities and common areas, such as a gym, pool and parking. In some communities, condo owners can rent their units to tenants, too.


What is the difference between a condo and a house?

If you live in a condo, it’s your home, but it’s not a house. That’s an important distinction, particularly when it comes to maintenance.

Consider if you owned a detached single-family house and the roof needs to be repaired. As a homeowner, that expense would fall entirely on your shoulders. If you owned a condo, that cost would likely be split between other owners in the community, and a portion of it might also be paid for via the reserves of the homeowners association.

Sharing expenses can be helpful, but it’s important to note that condo owners often must follow additional rules and community restrictions. For example, there could be aesthetic requirements to adhere to, such as a mandate to install the same windows as every other unit. Simply put, you might not have complete control over the decisions about your condo, whereas with a house, you’ll have much more latitude.

Should I rent or own a condo?

Your finances will be the main deciding factor that answers this question. As with any home type, when you buy a home, you’ll need a large sum of money for a down payment, as well as closing costs, says John Ameralis, a licensed real estate broker with Compass in New York City.

Renting a condo can also be a good opportunity to test out a particular building or area of town before making a long-term ownership commitment.

individual to experience living in a condo to see if the ‘condo life’ is something they want to invest in,” Leonard says.

Pros and cons of living in a condo

If you’re thinking of buying a condo, it’s important to weigh the benefits and challenges so your decision suits your lifestyle and budget. Here are some top things to consider.

Pros

Lower-maintenance living: Since most, if not all, exterior maintenance on condos is handled by the HOA, “condos are best for buyers who don’t want the higher maintenance (responsibility) of owning their own house, such as mowing their lawn, fixing a leaky roof, etc.,” Ameralis says.Sense of security: Some condo communities have security staff, and the entrances are more difficult to access from the outside than single-family homes or townhomes. “Many single people do not like living alone, and condo living makes them feel safer,” Leonard says. Depending on the building, you might have secure entrances and parking, a doorman or concierge and other amenities that increase security and safety. This can also be a perk if you work odd hours or travel frequently.Opportunities to be social: Some HOAs organize social events like pool parties, barbecues and doggy playdates. In addition, because you see your neighbors in passing, you’re more likely than not to meet them in person. “Condos are a great place to meet people since you are close to your neighbors, and this can provide a great sense of community,” Leonard says.Amenities: Depending on the condo community, you may have access to top-notch amenities like a grilling area, business center, pool, dog park, covered parking, clubhouse and more, and the cost of enjoying these perks is shared among all residents.

Cons

Investment risk: “Condos can be a riskier investment because you are sharing ownership with other people in the building,” Leonard says. “If one person forecloses or short-sells their condo, it can take a toll on your value since you’re in the same complex.”Lack of privacy: Because condos share common areas like the lobby, hallways, outdoor patios and amenities, a condo might not be for you if you value your privacy, Ameralis says. The shared space also comes with noise issues. For example, if your upstairs neighbor wakes up early for work, those footsteps might drag you out of bed, too. If you want more seclusion or you entertain frequently, for example, a townhouse might be a better option.Limited outdoor space: Condos usually maximize real estate by building up, which often means there is limited outdoor or green space. “If you’re the kind of person who needs to park work vehicles at home or needs a lot of outdoor space for your work or pleasure, a condo may not be for you,” Leonard explains.Restrictive rental policies: When you buy into a shared building, you commit to following the rules, which can prohibit how many units can be rented at any given time. “Many condominiums don’t allow owners to rent their units after they purchase, so if you’re buying for an investment property make sure and check the rental regulations,” Leonard says.

Find other housing types:

House typeWho it’s right for:
ApartmentApartments are suited for anyone looking to stay in a prime location for a cheaper price near shopping, restaurant and entertainment centers, often at a more affordable cost than buying a condo or single-family home.
CondominiumCondos appeal to those looking for a lower-maintenance living, home with a sense of security, opportunities to be social with neighbors, among other factors.
TownhouseTownhouses are a particularly good option or first-time homebuyers or other budget-minded home buyers who want more space than typically afforded in a condo.
Modular homeModular homes are enticing to empty-nesters looking to downsize, couples looking for backyard units like tiny homes or families looking to upgrade their dated properties in nice but expensive neighborhoods.
Single-family homeSingle-family homes are best for families who prefer a huge yard and plenty of room to spread out. Others still prefer a low-maintenance condo or townhome that includes benefits like landscaping, snow removal and exterior maintenance.
Multi-family homeMulti-family homes are best for those who are interested in getting into real estate investing and are comfortable with the added responsibility and time commitment that comes with being a landlord.
Bungalow homeAt between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet, bungalows are a great option for young families looking for a starter home or retirees hoping to downsize in a home without stairs, or single homeowners who want the single-family home lifestyle without managing a huge property.
Co-opCo-ops are most often found in major cities, and they can be good for those looking for security or neighbors who largely adhere to the building’s rules and policies.
Patio homeTypically capped at one-and-a-half stories and part of a larger association, patio homes are best for homeowners who don’t want to deal with stairs or maintenance.

See more: Average Temp In Phoenix In March, March Weather

Ranch homeRanch homes are ideal for anyone who prefers single-story living. Singles, couples and families with children can find something to love about a ranch home.