When you’re looking to buy a home, there are plenty of choices available. One of them is a condominium—a multi-unit property that is divided and sold in individual units. Compared with a single-family dwelling, ownership in a condominium includes partial ownership in shared “common property.” This presents unique challenges for condominium buyers. If you’re considering buying a condo, read on to learn a little more about this type of property and what ownership entails.
What Is a Condo?
In a condominium (commonly known as a condo) some parts—such as your residence—are owned privately, while others—such as common areas—are owned collectively by all of the condominium’s owners. A less technical way to think of a condo is as an apartment that you own. In practice, condos often take the form of an apartment or a similar shared complex, such as row townhouses, but theoretically, a condo could physically be any kind of shared building.
Condos are especially popular in places with high property values—vacation hotspots and urban settings are both places where you can expect to find many. This is largely because buying a single-family home can be prohibitively expensive in places where additional building space may be scarce. As such, condos can open homeownership to whole new groups of people. If you’re ready to own your own home but can’t quite afford a house, a condominium could be a way to get into the market.
Searching for the Right Condo
Looking for a condo involves the same process as shopping for a single-family home. If you have a general idea of what you’re interested in, going to a real estate agent can be a great way to find out about properties that you might not be able to find on your own.
If you’re more of a do-it-yourself person, you can search real estate websites and listings for condos in the area in which you are interested. If you have a specific building or complex in mind, many offer on-site sales offices, where you can learn more about the condominium and perhaps even view a show suite.