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What are Condominiums?

A condominium or condo as this type of residence is commonly known is a residence that is divided up into units. The owner owns the space and holds title to the space between the walls of the unit. However, all common areas such as entry foyers, hallways and laundry rooms are jointly owned by all unit owners. Condos may have common recreation facilities such as a swimming pool or gym for the residents to use. These common areas and amenities are maintained using association fees the residents pay each month. They are known as condo association fees. Another advantage of owning a condo is that very often the heating, water and other utilities charges may be paid out of the association fees as these utilities are shared. This can also be a drawback. For example, you may not be able to turn the heat on and off when you wish.

Generally, a management group is employed by the board to manage the property, however, the condo board oversees this management. The condo board is appointed by the condo association, which votes people in for different positions. Each unit will have one or more votes depending on the residence size. The board will decide on what repairs and maintenance will be conducted first. It is always a good idea to check the association financial health before making a decision on a condo. It is also wise to check whether the fees are being reassessed in the near future and whether any major repairs are on the horizon. Remember, you will be helping to fund these.

Its always a good idea when your decide to purchase a condo to get to know the board members. These people will be you new neighbors and reflect the opinions and values of the people living in the residence. The board will decide what rules and regulations will be applied the property such as pets or no pets allowed. You will need to understand what the rules are and whether you can abide by them. One of the drawbacks of a condo is that the privacy is generally not what it is in a single-family residence.

You will also need to understand the financial obligations that come with owning a condo. You will be required to pay a monthly fee. This will be taken into account by the lender when deciding how much you can afford. This fee is generally based on the size of the unit. You will need to add this to your monthly mortgage payment to calculate the total monthly amount you will be paying for purchasing a condo. Calculate your principal, interests, taxes and insurance amounts (PITI) and then add on your monthly assessment to give the total monthly payout.

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