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Old 12-21-2011, 12:31 PM
 
Location: In a little house on the prairie - literally
10,202 posts, read 6,591,902 times
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First of all, I understand that condominium is a form of ownership, but the common definition is a multi-unit, often multi-story residential unit, versus a townhouse being a different structure, which could be a condominium legally.

Most real estate listings seem to show significantly lower HOA fees for townhouses.

Does anyone know why this is prevalent?
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:05 PM
 
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Condos usually have a higher level of services than a townhome. Also, the condo association will own the actual structure, and you own a share of that. In this case, if a wall is cracked and needs to be repaired, the condo association would pay for it.

However, you may be responsible for the exterior of a stand-alone townhome structure.

This impacts insurance as well, since the condo association buys insurance for the entire structure. At the last condo property I owned, insurance was about 40% of the association budget.

There are also common elements in a condo that may require additional costs: utilities, pool maintenance, security, road paving, etc.

The one way to figure out what services you are paying for is to look at the townhome's documents and the budget.
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:14 PM
 
Location: East Tennessee
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In Florida (unlike some other states), most townhouses are bought/sold as fee simple - meaning you own your unit and the ground beneath it and nothing else. Maintenance fees are paid toward common areas and community amenities owned by the association. A condominium is bought/sold as vertical and horizontal space of one unit and an undivided fractional share of the buildings and land (leasehold). I'm not sure I explained this very well. :-). It's easier for me to remember that with a townhouse you own the ground below your unit as in a single family home, and in a condo you don't.
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:43 PM
 
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Also more Condo's have been foreclosed on and for years no Condo fee have been paid by many causing the remainder of the owner to cover for the non-payers

Causing the financials for most Condo ass. to be very unhealthy and not to qualify for FHA. Citizens just announced to raise home owner ins. premiums for Condo's and not just by a little....so be aware.
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:02 AM
 
Location: In a little house on the prairie - literally
10,202 posts, read 6,591,902 times
Reputation: 4537
Quote:
Originally Posted by chi_tino View Post
....

However, you may be responsible for the exterior of a stand-alone townhome structure.

This impacts insurance as well, since the condo association buys insurance for the entire structure. At the last condo property I owned, insurance was about 40% of the association budget.
...
The one way to figure out what services you are paying for is to look at the townhome's documents and the budget.
The requirement under Florida condominium law to carry REPLACEMENT insurance (cost to rebuild) can mean an inexpensive condo could cost as much as 10% a year in insurance... I'd rather self insure at that rate other then liability, but it is not an option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TampaKaren View Post
In Florida (unlike some other states), most townhouses are bought/sold as fee simple I'm not sure I explained this very well. :-).
Makes perfect sense to me I suspected the same but could not find anything online that was concise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bentlebee View Post
Also more Condo's have been foreclosed on and for years no Condo fee have been paid by many causing the remainder of the owner to cover for the non-payers

Causing the financials for most Condo ass. to be very unhealthy and not to qualify for FHA. Citizens just announced to raise home owner ins. premiums for Condo's and not just by a little....so be aware.
I'm pretty good at reading financials and understanding what they mean. I know there could be a lot of contingent liabilities out there for future owners.

I suspect that condo's will even get less expensive now with the carrying costs of HOA, insurance and I am sure many will have special assessments coming up.

Thanks for the replies... they are valuable information on a confusing (to me) subject.
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