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Home Buying 101: Condominium

condo in minneapolisThis type of dwelling is most like an apartment building, except instead of renting, you purchase the individual units. It can be a high-rise building comprising of 20, 30, or 40 stories, or a low-rise building of up to 4 stories. This type of home also has an association fee. The major difference between a townhouse and a condo, as mentioned above, is that in a condo, you only own the space within the unit plus part of the common spaces. You don’t own the land beneath your unit. Some buildings look like a townhouse, but may actually be a condo, depending on how it was originally defined.

A condo has its own unique advantages over both the townhouse and the single family house. The unique advantage is that there is usually only one entrance door and that may be manned by a guard desk, so there may be a higher level of security in a condo complex. There is also usually a central heating plant that heats the entire building. Association dues may be higher to include the cost of heating the building.

Pros:

  • Can be a “fair-weather friend” or “snow-bird” and just leave the condo vacant for a while. Easy to pack up and go
  • Security building

Cons:

  • Usually has higher association dues than townhouses but it usually includes more amenities, or heat / water / sanitation, etc
  • Neighbors who may disturb quiet time
  • Some restrict pets

Additional Resources:

Condo Buyers Guide

Steven Hong - RE/MAX Results 
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