Most people truly do not know what a condominium is. This is because the first condos that we all became familiar with in our region all looked the same or possibley you moved to Canada and never encountered them previously. These original condos were all 2 storey townhouse units, joined together in rows of 6 or 8. These attached row housing hence became commonly referred to as condos, a term which was and still is incorrect. Let me clarify this a bit.
CONDOMINIUM IS A TYPE OF OWNERSHIP, NOT A STYLE OF CONSTRUCTION!
A TOWNHOUSE IS A STYLE OF BUILDING, NOT A FORM OF OWNERHSIP!
When you see a bunch of 2 storey units which are joined together in a row, this style of building is properly referred to as a "Townhouse". It is a2 storey townhouse style unit.
There are 2 common forms of ownership of these townhouses. The first type is traditional fee simple ownership, where you own the townhouse, inside and outside, and even the yard it is on. There is a certian perimiter to your unit and the land it owns. Sometimes in these units you may also own a parking structure or parking spot too. If so, these units are 100% yours to do with as you like. You are responsible for all maintenance, insurance, and could even paint it purple if you wanted to.
The second type of ownership is condominium ownership. In this type of ownership, all of the townhouse units in the development are basically pooled together, all the land and buildlings in one big pool. Lets say there are 40 units, and you own unit #15. As the owner of this townhouse condo, you own everything inside your condo unit as the sole owner, you also own 1/40th of all of the land and common property. That means 1/40th of the dirt, the roofs, the exteriors, etc. Now because you are 1 of 40 owners, each of you pays a monthly fee into a common bank account, this is your condo fee. This money is collected from everyone and is used to maintain the common property (roofs, exterior, windows, lawn mowing, snow removal). The fee you pay is essentially paying to maintain your own property, and also ensure all your neighbors do the same. If you wanted to paint it purple, you couldnt, as you have 39 other owners who would need to be part of that decision.
So the disadvantage of condo ownership is that you have to pay a monthly fee and you have common rules which make all units look the same and be maintained the same. You give up a little bit of your freedom and are held to a certain standard of quality.
The biggest advantage is exactly the same thing. A condo ensures that you neighbors maintain their units to the same standard, that all units remain in good repair, that there are no surprize repairs that you havent budgeted for.
Now, just to clarify, condos can take any form of construction. They can be townhouses as in this example, or they could be apartments in a buildling, or they could be a block of duplex properties, they can even been a gated area of single family units. Keep in mind the difference between the buildling style and where the type of ownership is condo or not, they are not the same thing.
If you want info on lethbridge condos, you can check out the link on my lethbridge real estate website anytime.
Robert W May is a Real Estate Broker in Lethbridge Alberta, having now been in the industry for over 23 years. . He was also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta for the past 10 years. He is an industry leader always willing to help train and educate others in how to improve their business models for financial and personal benefit.