Guide to Condos & Property Ownership

September 21st, 2021

Condominiums or condos, private residences within a larger building or complex have become the go-to option for modern living. No matter if you’re a young entrepreneur, a family buying their first property, or a senior looking to downsize, the popularity of condos is on a constant rise. In many aspects, it’s a better alternative to renting an apartment or a house. Condos require less maintenance and are typically modern buildings that contain various attractive amenities. These include pools and gyms, playgrounds for the kids, and much more.
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Overall, condos offer a quality lifestyle. Still, they differ from traditional property purchases, and buyers must carefully study all the conditions attached. If you are looking to purchase property in Marina Park or a condo for sale in a nearby neighborhood, here’s what you need to know about their ownership.

Do you really own a condo?

Condo owners don’t own the parcel of land the condo is built on. They own the unit itself and what is known as “interest” that they share with all the other owners in the “common areas” of the condominium. The meaning of these terms depends on the details in the documents governing the condominium project. Namely, this is the Condominium Map or Plan and the Covenants, Conditions, Restrictions, and Easements (CC&Rs) that list things that the condo owner must comply with. The Condominium Map defines the exact physical location of the unit and its borders. The map does not state exactly what things, such as what interior fixtures, or parts of the doors and windows, are included in the unit.

This is typically explained in the CC&Rs, which define whether certain things are part of the unit or the common elements, such as: Interior walls (typically part of a unit); roof and exterior walls (most often defined as common elements); floors, or ceilings; windows and doors; permanent fixtures; plumbing, electric, air conditioning systems, etc. Anything that is not directly part of the condo unit is considered a common element.

However, not all common elements are alike and identified on the Map or CC&Rs as “general common elements”, “limited common elements,” and “exclusive common elements”. These documents also explain who has the right to use which elements. Property maintenance responsibilities and repair costs will vary depending on what is actually owned. A unit owner is usually responsible for the maintenance of everything that is a part of their unit. As for the maintenance of anything that is a general common element, the responsibility lies with the homeowners association or the “HOA”. A condo owner pays a monthly condominium fee to cover recurring maintenance and repairs of the common areas within the condo complex. These include spaces like the lobby, elevators, parking lots, gyms, pools, etc. Depending on the exclusivity and size of the complex and its amenities, condo fees will vary greatly.

How long can you own a condo in the US?

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When a buyer purchases a condo, he has expectations that his ownership will be permanent. In principle, a purchased condo belongs forever to its buyer. Federal legislation only recognized the condo form in 1961 and is therefore still a relatively new form of real estate ownership. Condo owners should feel safe about their investment and ownership. Some states have instituted rules on how condos can be redeveloped, but in practice, this is rarely initiated.

How can I purchase a premium Marina Park condo for sale or other exclusive property in San Diego?

Whether you’re looking to buy your first property, getting ready for a new type of living experience, or buying a condo as an investment, you’ve come to the right place. Neuman & Neuman has been the go-to agent in San Diego and across the region for nearly 30 years.

With our team by your side, embark on a new life journey in Downtown San Diego or in the vicinity. Let us take good care of you, call today!

 

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