A condominium is a shared form of property ownership that includes 1) a divided interest - the inside of an apartment, townhouse, part of a duplex, a unit in a mult-family, or detached home; 2) an undivided interest, i.e. roofs, exterior siding, recreational facilities, elevators, etc.; 3) and there can also be exclusive use areas, i.e. parking spaces, decks, balconies, garden areas.
If you are a first time home buyer, you can generally get more living space for the same price as a single-family home, developments tend to be newer, and some offer amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness centers.
If you're just too busy or not interested in working around the house, owning a condominium is a good option for you. Exterior maintenance is taken care of by the homeowner association so you don't have to be concerned about exterior painting, landscaping, snow plowing, roof replacement, etc. - the benefits of home ownership without a lot of the work!
A lot of empty nesters are ready for a change and have someone else take care of things, especially during the winter months! Wouldn't it be nice to just lock the door and go somewhere warm next winter without having to worry about who's going to shovel?
There are several condominium options for people over 55+/active seniors in Sudbury, Concord, Hudson, Acton, and many of the nearby towns including resales and lots of new construction. Click here to see condominiums for sale.
Condo living is a great lifestyle if you're someone who wants easy living; doesn't mind having close neighbors; is ok with letting other people make decisions for you or is willing to volunteer to be on the Homeowners Association Board of Trustees, and won't mind trading some personal freedoms in return for convenience.
Buyers know that condominiums/homeowner associations have rules that govern the community. Any offer to purchase a condominium should include a contingency that says the offer is "subject to satisfactory review/acceptance of all documents..."
Most HOA (Home Owner association) rules are pretty standard, and your attorney can tell you which ones you can expect to find in most places, however, communities can and do amend the rules over the years so rules can vary. Parking and pets seem to be the biggest issues but there may also be rules holiday decorations, gardening, decks, facility usage; bicycle and baby carriage storage, rental restrictions - some communities do not allow any rentals. Some associations restrict what vendors you can use to replace the windows and doors... Yes, units owners are often responsible for windows, doors; know what you will be responsible for.
The lender will review the budget and send a questionnaire asking about the overall well being of the development - i.e. number of owner occupied units, if there are any pending lawsuits, special assessments; but as the buyer, it is really important for YOU to read the rules. Only you can know if you'll be comfortable living by the rules that govern the condo development you'll be sharing; and the best time to do that is before you make an offer. Once you accept the condominium rules (or not) you can move forward and enjoy the lifestyle that's right for you!
Marilyn Messenger has been representing condominium (including new construction) sellers and buyers in Sudbury and the nearby towns west of Boston for 21 years. She served on the Board of Trustees at Deer Hedge Run in Maynard for 2 years and understands how Home Owner Asscociations (HOAs) function. If you are planning to buy or sell a condominium call 508-596-3501.
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