Condos are much different than single family properties. It is useful for buyers to understand those differences before purchasing a condominium unit. This blog provides MA condominium definition for buyers.
What Makes a Condominium
Definition of a Condo
Condo is a type of land ownership. Condominiums contain 2 or more units, with the interiors individually owned. Unit owners have joint ownership in shared spaces. Some spaces, such as patios, may be considered common space but granted to a specific owner for exclusive right to use. A master deed outlines the ownership structure and other relevant information on the entire complex. A unit deed outlines information on a specific unit. Buyers should review both prior to purchasing.
The layout of a property does not determine whether it is a condo. Condos come in all shapes and sizes. Some are converted multi-family buildings and others are large complexes with multiple structures. The following are a few popular condo styles.
- Garden Contains only one-level of finished area.
- Townhouse Consists of more than one level of finished space.
- Detached Free-standing units.
- Duplex Two units attached to one another, also known as a condex.
- Low Rise A building with few floors and containing mostly single-floor units.
- High Rise A building with 5 or more floors and usually containing an elevator.
Other Information on Condominiums
A document called the By-Laws provides guidelines on how the complex should be managed. It is normally submitted into public record with the master deed. It specifies the structure and tasks of the Trustees. Their responsibilities often include collecting monthly fees, enforcing rules, and controlling the budget. Trustees can hire a professional management company to take over these tasks. Yearly meetings are held to offer unit owners input and to review finances and other matters.
Most condos have a recurring fee to cover maintenance of shared areas. A certain portion is put aside into a reserve and saved for significant maintenance issues. Fees can go up or down depending on the condo budget and known expenses. If the funds are not sufficient for expenses, unit owners may be charged a special assessment.
Understand the Rules
All condominium complexes have pre-designated rules and regulations. They dictate restrictions for common areas and sometimes also within individual units. They are created to maintain order and preserve common areas for the benefit of all the owners. There is no standard set of rules – they differ for every complex.
MA Condominium Definition For Buyers
Local real estate agents can help buyers evaluate different condo complexes. Buyers should also think about having a real estate attorney review and explain condo documentation. By understanding the details on condos, buyers can make more secure investment decisions. This article on MA condominium definition for buyers was prepared by Christopher Graves at Emery Federal Credit Union and is meant strictly as an overview. Contact Christopher at 781-759-1200 x22 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details on a specific complex.