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What is a Condo?

Condo BuildingA condo, short for condominium, by definition, is a multi-unit building where the units are owned by individuals and the multi-unit building is owned by someone else. A condo is largely defined by ownership and you would be hard pressed in some markets to distinguish between an apartment complex and a condominium complex as they can look identical (although the workmanship and build quality of a condominium are normally much higher). 

While condos, co-ops, and townhouses are all defined by ownership they differ in what you actually own. When comparing condominiums to co-ops and townhouses it all comes down to who owns what and who is responsible for repairs and maintenance of the interior and exterior of the properties. 

Condominium ownership 

When you purchase a condominium, a common and popular home purchase in a city such as Boston, you will own and be responsible for the interior of your unit. You will be responsible for maintenance and repairs for the interior of your home. The maintenance and repairs of the exterior of the multi-unit building fall on the shoulders of the building owner. You will pay a monthly fee, along with all the other residents, to cover the cost of repairs and maintenance in common areas (such as mowing, landscaping, exterior painting, pool & tennis court maintenance, and major exterior repairs). 

Condominium ownership offers the freedom of managing your home interior while property management takes care of the exterior. You will be enjoying a sense of community: you and your neighbors will be sharing walls, and common areas and relaxing and playing in the shared amenities. When looking for your perfect condominium in the great Boston area you can filter by price range, the number of rooms, features, and amenities important to you as you browse the condo listings from Advisors Living. 

Co-op ownership, shares 

Co-ops, a housing cooperative, made their debut in NYC and Washington DC in the late 1800s. They remain a popular housing option in many cities but are not common in Boston. When you purchase a co-op you won’t be buying real estate, you will be buying a “share” of the corporation or building. The corporation owns all the units in the building, while the members each own an equal share in the corporation. Members can live in a unit through an occupancy agreement or a proprietary lease. There are a lot of rules and regulations governed by the co-op board that limits what a resident can and can’t do with a co-op unit…you own a “share” of a corporation, not real estate. 

Townhouse ownership 

When you purchase a townhouse you own the interior and the exterior of your home. Townhouses are typically multi level and are similar to single family home ownership in regard to maintenance and repair responsibilities. You will be sharing at least one wall with a neighbor in a townhouse, but the amenities (pools, tennis courts, fitness centers) common in condominium communities are far less common in townhouse communities. 

We look forward to working with you as you begin your search for your perfect condominium in the Greater Boston area. Our Advisors Living professionals focus on you and your lifestyle to make your dreams of owning a condominium a reality. Contact an agent today!

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