The two most common ownership forms are condo and single family homes.
What is condo ownership?
When you purchase a condo, the association typically owns the exterior walls from outside to halfway in. The buildings attached to your unit own to halfway in from their walls. As a result, you own from halfway through a dividing wall to your interior. Additionally, you own the exterior walls half way in. Windows and doors are usually considered the unit owner’s responsibility.
What is single family ownership?
With a single family home, you own everything.
What does this mean to you? If you own a condo, you’ll be paying monthly fees to the condo association. These fees will be used to pay for common area maintenance, exterior maintenance of the buildings (roof, siding etc. If the building needs a new roof, the association pays for it.) lawn cutting, snow removal, if there’s a pool and / or clubhouse, and in most places, garbage removal. If you own the house, all of these maintenance issues are your responsibility and yours alone.
You need to make the decision as to whether it’s worthwhile to pay the association fees, but many people decide a single family house is better for them. It may cost more, but – if you get a house and avoid a monthly fee of $275 – $300 per month, you can get a mortgage for +- $70,000 more and have the same payments.
Something to think about?