What Are Your Ownership Rights in Your Condo?

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If you’re considering purchasing a condominium, there are many good reasons people cite for doing so.  Enjoying life for many people doesn’t include yard work and exterior property maintenance.  You don’t have to do those things with a condominium.  Sometimes there is also a savings in ownership costs due to the pooled resources of the condominium owners association.  Water and sewer costs are reduced when purchased in bulk in some cases.  At the very least, if this is the case, there could be one or two bills you don’t have to write checks for each month.

Homeowner insurance is less expensive for condo owners.  The association insures the structures, exteriors and roof.  The condo owner need only insure the interior fixtures and personal belongings.  Exterior and roof repairs, as well as landscaping and other services are less expensive to each homeowner due to the volume buying power of the condominium association.

Let’s not forget the fact that it’s a big expense for a single family home owner to have a swimming pool installed, while condominium owners frequently enjoy the pool in the complex.  Then there’s the activity or clubhouse as well.  The condo owner owns their specific unit, as well as a shared interest in the “common elements” of the project, including the pool and clubhouse.

Generally, you can do pretty much what you want inside the walls of your condominium as regards painting and decorating.  However, should you want to change or relocate a staircase in a two-story condo, it’s a structural modification that would normally require the approval of the association.  You also are limited in what you can do to decorate or modify your deck or patio areas, as they are visible outdoors and the association will want to maintain a certain “look” for the project.

Advantages are well-documented for condo owners, but there are definitely limitations on your use or modifications of your home.  It’s a bummer when someone buys a condo and places their favorite barbecue grill on the patio, only to get a letter or visit from the association to let them know they can’t use that propane appliance.

Doug Clark
Star of Spike TV’s FLIP MEN
RealtyTrac Education Partner
#1 Real Estate Coach and Mentor Worldwide
Follow @demo_doug

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