Condominiums are much different than single family real estate. It is useful for buyers to realize those differences before buying a condo unit. This blog provides MA condominium overview for first time buyers.
What Is A Condominium?
Definition of a Condominium
Condominium is a type of land ownership. Condominiums consist of 2 or more units, with the interiors belonging to specific owners. Unit owners maintain joint ownership in common areas. Certain spaces, such as decks, may be considered common space but offered 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 details information on a specific unit. Buyers should review both before buying a unit.
The style of a property does not designate whether it is a condominium. Condominiums come in a variety of configurations. Some are converted multi-family buildings and others are major complexes with multiple structures. The following are a few common condo styles.
- Garden — Consists of only one-level of finished space.
- Townhouse — Consists of two or more levels of living space.
- Detached — Unattached units.
- Duplex — Two units attached to one another, sometimes referred to as a condex.
- Low Rise — A building with a few floors and containing mostly single-floor units.
- High Rise — A building with many floors and usually serviced by an elevator.
Things to Know About Condos
Management & Associations
A document called the By-Laws outlines the condo management procedures. It is traditionally filed into public record with the master deed. It outlines the structure and responsibilities of the Trustees. Their tasks often include collecting recurring fees, enforcing rules and regulations, and managing the budget. Trustees may involve a professional management company to take over these responsibilities. Annual meetings are held to allow unit owners a voice and to review finances and other items.
Most condominiums have a recurring fee to gather funds for shared maintenance. A certain portion is placed into a reserve and saved for significant maintenance issues. Fees may go up or down based on the condo budget and upcoming expenses. If the funds are not sufficient for expenses, a special assessment may be charged to the unit owners.
Rules and Regulations
All condo complexes have established rules and regulations. They can explain universal rules and restrictions. They are meant to maintain order and protect shared amenities for the benefit of all the owners. There is no universal set of rules – they change for every complex.
MA Condominium Overview For First Time Buyers
Local real estate agents can help buyers assess different condominium complexes. Buyers should also consider having a real estate attorney review documentation on their behalf. By understanding the details on condos, buyers can make more educated investment decisions. This article on MA condominium overview for first time buyers was compiled by Bradford Pratt at REMAX on the Charles and is meant strictly as an overview. Contact Bradford at 781-316-5760 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details on a specific complex.