Typical Condominium Formats

You may well be acquainted with the type of housing known as a condominium, or “condo,” but do you know what the term actually means? It is a particular part of a real estate piece that is owned by an individual, and is usually a converted apartment. These normally include common areas like hallways or outdoor patios and amenities. In this article we will look at the different types of condos.

One particular type is called a freehold condominium. That means the land the condo complex is built on is actually owned by the developer. Because of this potential buyers of the units can have the deeds transferred over to them directly. The buildings for these typed of condos can be row condos or low-rise condos or even high-rise condos. Different subcategories of freehold condos are: phased condos, standard condos, common element condos and vacant land condos.

A standard condo is made up of buildings subdivided into individual units and also includes common features such as amenities and outdoor areas. With this type of a condo the owners must chip in for the expenses for repairs and maintenance of these common features.

A phased condo is more or less a standard condo, but is instead developed in phases. This allows buyers to purchase individual units from the developer before the project is actually finished; even if the project takes years more to complete. The individual units MUST have everything they need to be self-sufficient complete in order for them to be sold.

The next subheading we will discuss is the common elements condominium. In this variety there are not any units; only common features that are connected to existing parcels of land. The owners of this kind of condo are responsible for maintaining the common features of the complex. An example of this can be: when a group of property owners want to create a park; or perhaps a small beach if it is near water, for their community exclusively. Then this same group of owners must chip in for the expenses of maintaining this amenity.

The final subcategory of condos is a vacant land condo. This is a parcel of naked, undeveloped land at the time of its registration. Parts of this land can be sold as units and therefore can be built upon by the new owner. With this type, the combination of the home AND the land is considered to be the condominium unit.

The other major category of condominiums is called “leasehold” condos. This was established in order to give more options on the use of the land to institutions such as hospitals or universities. With this, the land owner leases the relevant parcel of land to the declarant and establishes the condo. In this instance the length of the lease CANNOT be shorter than 40 years OR more than 99. Also; the buyers do NOT actually own this land, instead they only have a LEASE on it. For this and a few other reasons this type of condo is very rare.