- Condominiums are units that are similar to nice apartments, and may be in large or small, high or low rise buildings.
- The owner keeps the title to the interior of the unit and shares the title to any common areas in the building, such as a health club.
- These common areas are governed by a board of directors who are elected by the residents.
- Owners must abide by bylaws, covenants, conditions and restrictions.
- Before purchasing a condominium, you and your lawyer will want to do some research about the master deed, bylaws, operating rules for the association, house rules, covenants, restrictions, and conditions.
- Townhouses are multi-floor units that share common walls with adjacent townhouses.
- Owners keep the title to the unit and the land under the unit and a shared title to any common areas.
- These are normally governed by a homeowner’s association elected by residents.
- Townhouse legal documents are similar to condo documents.
- Cooperatives are single apartment units owned as shares in a corporation or trust that retains the title to the entire building.
- Owner holds a lease to live in the unit and a proportionate number of shares in the corporation that owns the building.
- These usually are governed by a board of directors that is elected by residents.
- Before buying a co-op, review all rules, membership regulations, and house codes.
- Have your lawyer check the legal documentation such as the incorporation, bylaws, and proprietary lease.
- Check the co-op’s budget and financial statements as well.
4 signs you shouldn’t buy into attached housing
- Most of the building is rented. Many lenders will not provide loans on a unit in this type of complex, making resale nearly impossible.
- The association has an unhealthy reserve fund. Members will pay heavily for any repairs.
- If the board of directors can’t agree, you can be sure they will make bad decisions.
- If the project is in heavy litigation, property values will be negatively affected, and funds will be quickly drained.