A condominium is collective ownership in real property. There are three primary types of collective ownership.
Condominium: When you buy a condominium you are purchasing the space between the unit’s walls, the floor and the ceiling. You own the electrical wiring and plumbing within the unit, and often a parking space, but the rest of the space outside your door is the known as the common area. The common area is jointly owned with your neighbors, and you pay monthly fees to an owners’ association in order to maintain this area.
Town House: Generally designed as a group of homes in a row, often interconnected. Although the units or building structures may be separate, ownership is still collective and managed by an owners’ association.
Co-op: Co-ops are very different from condominiums. In a co-op you buy shares in a corporation which leases you back a unit. Anyone can buy a condominium, not so a co-op. Co-ops often require a down payment between 30 and 50 percent, while condos can be purchased with a down payment well under 20 percent. Co-ops are not as popular as condominiums because condos are easier to purchase and typically your return on investment (ROI) is comparatively less.
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