The Definition of a Condominium
So, you’re thinking of buying a condominium? Congratulations! You’ve made a great decision. Condominiums are a great way to own your own home without all of the hassle and maintenance that comes with single-family homes.
Not sure what a condominium is? In brief, a condominium is a type of home that is owned by an individual unit owner, but the common areas of the property (like the grounds, swimming pool, etc.) are owned jointly by all of the unit owners.
You might feel struggling and confused in case you are planning to buy a home since many options are available to you; For example, you can choose from the various lists of Classical Style Residential Homes, rent an apartment or a suite in a hotel, and also have the choice of owning Condominiums, which is our topic for this article.
All of these are wonderful choices because they all offer advantages for you, depending on every request and demand you may need. For instance, living in a traditional home is great if you are claiming a quiet and clean environment; On the other hand, as well, living in a condominium is perfect for small and busy families in the community.
First, let us look at the origin of the word Condominium, often shortened to Condo, as featured in some online resources.
At first impression, the term itself may stimulate your curiosity about its originality; Actually, this is how Wikipedia explains the derivation of the word:
A Condominium is a combined Latin word formed by adding the prefix con- (together) to the word dominium (dominion, ownership). Its meaning is, therefore ‘joint dominion’ or ‘co-ownership.
This is the textual clarification, however technically speaking, the functionality significance may vary; in fact, according to the Collins Dictionary webpage: “A condominium is an apartment building in which each apartment is owned by the person who lives there.”
How do condominiums differ from other Properties?
Meanwhile, Googling the word Condominium may result in a huge amount of information, most of which are simply ads and promotions, that don’t make sense at all.
However, and since you are a newbie to the industry, Investopedia (blogging about investment opportunities) can help to clarify the meaning and make it more understandable for you through those major points:
- The main difference between an apartment and a condo is ownership, where an apartment is generally rented, while a condo is owned.
- A condominium, more commonly known as a condo, is a property complex that is owned by an individual. Residential highrises are an example of condos.
- A condo-proprietor owns the air space inside their condo, sharing an ownership interest in the community property, such as the floor, walls, sidewalks, stairwells, and exterior areas.
- A general requirement of a condo owner is monthly payments to a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), which is in charge of property upkeep and is formed by elected condo owners themselves.
|Minimalist Photography of White and Gray Condominium, Photo by from
So, in other words, a Condominium is a complex structure composed of individual units, which are often referred to as "Condo Units". The difference between the apartment-type complexes and the condo is mainly that the first is usually intended for rent, while the others are generally reserved for sale, as mentioned above.
Why would people prefer a Condominium rather than a regular House?
When people want to buy real estate these days, they prefer to go for Condominiums, and here’s why.There are a lot of advantages to buying a condominium instead of a regular house. Once you understand what these condominiums have to offer, you may change your point of view too.
First of all, condominiums are sold at a cheaper price compared to a house in the same district. This factor appears to be more consistent and convenient for individuals who purchase condos if they are hoping to live in an area where the real estate price is expensive. They would benefit from the same neighboring environment at a lesser cost!
It is not just the price that seems attractive about a condominium, said an ex-realtor agent for my blog, who has wide experience in the industry. There are a lot of other benefits that come at the same price. Condominiums will free your mind from the worries you may have about what you need to do to maintain the front or the backyard! There would be no bother from keeping up a garden.
As an owner, you will be provided with one covered parking slot (or more, depending on your condo’s surface) within the building and therefore, spare you the misery of parking during winter or your driveway maintenance.
Most of these condominiums also have various leisure and entertainment facilities like a gym or a swimming pool which is an added advantage for you as you would not have to look elsewhere for the same amenities.
What are the benefits of a Condo?
Besides, some of them also have supplies for doing your laundry, which would avoid the difficulty of going out and finding a washer/dryer service, that might be miles away.
"This alternative will reduce many other expenses. For instance, you may not want to consider fixing your rooftop because of some weather harm or the need for various exterior works like completing paintwork or supplanting your entryways and windows. One would not have to think about the initial expenses at all that you would otherwise have to in case of buying a regular house since the (HOA) exists”, says our expert.
A house owner will have a ton of duties like normal upkeep and maintenance of the house, while the majority of people don’t have enough time, budget, or sometimes good health to ensure the house's wellness. However, condominiums would take out this concern on your behalf, and you would not be suffering the circumstances, meanwhile.
Something else that might be a point of interest is that condominiums would be much simpler and easier to resell in case the need arises. Assuming you do not want to sell it but instead only want to relocate keeping it for potential future use, you can just rent or lease your property.
People would prefer a condominium over a regular house since it is more convenient and hence would attract many more other possible renter occupants. Regions around the waterfront or seasides are also quite popular for condominiums if you wish to be close to the waters.
Real estate traders who own waterfront properties generally decide on condominiums as they offer more opportunities than what an independent house can provide. Generally speaking, condominiums are just the perfect choice for building traders who intend to find residential complexes to sell later. This is so because they are cheaper and one piece of land can provide a place for many more condominium units than houses which is in return more profitable for them.
Different Types of Condos
Currently, condominiums are in high demand and are trending everywhere around the globe. We can categorize them into four different styles to choose from. Condominiums have been progressively gaining in popularity in the past few years in many regions of the world, notably in the Far East.
"At least part of this is because while buyers spend a long time searching for a regular house under a certain budget (let's say US$150,000), condominiums are still available within this price range.", added our ex-realtor. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or an expert, some condominium types will fit your needs. Here is an overview of the available options and the differences between each of them:
- Studio. This unit is usually the most low-priced in any condo project due to the limited floor area allowed. There are studio units that can go as low as 18 sqm in the total floor area. You can choose your studio units that have at least an integrated bathroom and kitchen, and a balcony that can be turned into an additional living area. A Studio is the best choice for single people or couples. (fig.1)
|Fig.1- Studio type, Photo source: realliving.com.ph
- Loft. If the condominium building is lucky to have high ceilings, a potential studio unit is fitted within this space – a raised room reachable by stairs. This spacious room is open and investigates the fundamental living zone underneath, so this unit isn't ideal for individuals who are specific about privacy. Lofts are likewise easy to cool down so pick one with liberally estimated opened glazing windows that can decrease the power consumption of the cooling system. However, a loft unit is not recommended for older folks, couples with infants, and people with difficulty climbing upstairs. (fig.2)
|Fig.2- Loft type, Photo source: realliving.com.ph
- Penthouse. Located on the highest floor of a condo, penthouses are the most expensive units, due to the large floor area plus the exclusivity and privacy offered to the lodger. Most penthouses are stand-alone units on the top floor and are provided with exclusive elevators; some are multi-level or split-level, and others even have private swimming pools and non-covered terraces. (fig.3)
- 1-bedroom / 2-bedroom / 3-bedroom Units: Units with one, two, or three bedrooms accommodate couples or small families. A well-designed three-bedroom unit should respect and provide at least two bathrooms, a corridor leading to the bedrooms, and a maid/utility room. The cost is calculated according to the floor area of each unit. (fig.4)
Fig. 4- Penthouse type, Photo source: realliving.com.ph
|Fig.3- Penthouse type, Photo source: realliving.com.ph
- Reference: realliving.com.ph
3 Things You Must Consider When You invest in a “Condo” Real Estate
When you are looking to find the right condominium to purchase or rent, you will have to do some investigations. As a probable future buyer, you need to consider a few things so that you can end up finding the right condominium for you and your family.
Those things are pretty simple to do, so just relax and let us recommend some advice! The following are 3 fundamental things to consider:
1. What kind of condominium property are you seeking. Identifying the type of condominium you would like to live in is the first thing to think about and consider; Identify the type of condominium unit you would like to live in. Is it a condominium-apartment property? Or a condominium townhouse property?
Second, is it a student condo-type unit or a family condo-type unit that you looking for?
Avoid being hesitant when choosing your unit; don’t be uncertain about specific qualifications such as spaces and the type you desire for your condo. The exact values chosen will decrease the chances of future issues or regretting the situation.
2. The area location. Most of the condominiums are found in the cities so if you are a person who likes the city's lifestyle, then the condominium is the right choice for you, but some people are saying that condominium living is not ideal for a family especially a family with kids. However, that was just an individual opinion of those people and had nothing to do with reality. You are still the one who decides according to your preferences.
3. Budget. Evaluating your financial situation is important to consider as well. Condominium living could be hard living for you if you are not stable financially before you get into a contract and its monthly installments might not fit your income.
Otherwise, you have to deal with the related penalties for every late payment. Thus, only high-salary career people can obtain a condominium unit and afford the kind of lifestyle it has. If your job doesn't keep you enough money aside, do not get involved in a contract. It is ideal that you save up and get a more income-producing career before you get yourself and your family a condo.
As stated earlier, considering the things to find the right condominium unit is not a tough ride. You just have to give yourself a little time to think about those important things cited above before you purchase or rent a condo.
Some Cons and Pros to Consider
There are many advantages and benefits when buying a condominium, among them:
- The cost of a condominium unit is less expensive compared to a regular family housing unit. For instance, when you buy condominiums, you can live in an expensive neighborhood affordably. The condominium usually has various kinds of amenities and activities such as tropical swimming pools, steam room, gym, and many other luxurious facilities, all free and included within the initial amount paid.
- All condominiums are protected by security guards with key card access, some of them are fingerprint readers or face scanners. Besides, almost all condominium complexes are provided with a smart security system that uses CCTV monitoring cameras around the clock. So that you can spend the night there securely assured.
- You can always sell the condominium unit when you are bored with it and you need some change. Another option is to wait for a few years before selling the condominium unit if it is not urgent for you. The reason is that after a few years, the value of the condominium will increase so that you can sell it at a higher price than the price you bought it.
Condominiums also have some downsides.
- Because the condominium units are connected, sometimes by just a single dividing wall, you might hear noises getting out from neighbors staying beside, on top, and below your unit.
- Contrary to what was previously mentioned, it might be difficult to find a parking lot in the car park sometimes, due to some undisciplined individuals. However, there is no backyard in your condominium unit for alternative parking.
- Some condominium units are not equipped with elevators.
The financial statistics show that the value of condominium properties increases over time, even in economic recessions. A smart idea is that you can always benefit from renting out your property to collect some extra income for your family.
Recommendation and advice
Nowadays, you can shop for condominiums on the Internet.
Shopping for a condominium on the internet is easy since you search on the Google search engine for example. You can spend a good period researching real estate properties in the nearby market or abroad. There are various things you should be aware of when you look for properties online.
- Always check if the condominium that is promoted belongs to the real owner and verify his passport or ID on sale if possible.
- To get a discount on your purchase always search for the property developers who construct the condominiums because they are the only party allowed to do so.
- Do a brief background check to see how long the company is in the industry and how many completed projects it has delivered. This can give you a global view of how much you can trust this company.
Hope this article was a useful aid for you and your family in choosing your future condominium! For any suggestions, please comment below! Your remarks are highly appreciated.
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