Quite often we are asked about condo ownership. Well, I can tell you that it’s quite different from owning a detached home. Read on to learn more.
When you purchase a condo, you aren’t purchasing the building, you’re only purchasing the interior of the building.
With condo ownership, the home owners association (HOA) owns the exterior of the building. To be specific, consider the exterior walls. The association owns the outer half of the exterior walls, while you, the condo owner, owns the inner half of the exterior walls. And where your home is connected to another condo, you own half of the dividing wall between the units, and the owner of the adjacent condo owns the other half. I’ll let you guess which half you own.
The condo association also owns the crawl space (if there is one), the attic and the roof.
The HOA is Responsible for What?
Let’s start with the association’s responsibilities. First, your monthly home owners association is responsible for maintaining the grounds. This means they cut the grass and remove the snow. Each (HOA) has it’s own snow removal guidelines, most don’t do snow removal until at least 2″ have accumulated. The HOA also maintains all common grounds, such as clubhouse, pool, tennis and basketball courts and playgrounds, if and where they exist.
Now let’s talk about the buildings. As I said before, with condo ownership the HOA owns the building. Thus they are responsible for maintaining the exterior of the building, including the roof.
The Condo Owner is Responsible for What?
First, windows and doors are considered to be interior, which means the condo owner is responsible for them. As to everything else inside the unit, the condo owner is responsible for all maintenance. This includes the heating and cooling systems, the electrical and plumbing systems, appliances and, well, everything inside.
The info above is a guideline and reflects the most common circumstances regarding the HOA and the condo owner’s responsibilities. However, each HOA has it’s own rules and regulations. When purchasing a condo, please check all these things for yourself. You have the right to read the HOA bylaws, which tell you everything about who is responsible for what.
When it’s time to purchase a condo, find a good Realtor to help you through the process. Hey – here’s an idea – call us! Call Bunny and Art Reiman – Realtors. We’ve helped hundreds of families buy and sell condos and home, and we can help you too!