What Do You Purchase When You Buy A Condominium?

Posted by on Aug 9, 2011 in Articles, Real Property | Comments Off on What Do You Purchase When You Buy A Condominium?

When you buy a condominium, you purchase your individual unit as well as shared property interests (limited common elements and general common elements).

Limited common elements are reserved for use by one or more, but fewer than all, of the unit owners in the condominium. Limited common elements may include balconies, roof decks, storage areas and parking spaces.

General common elements are portions of the property used by all the unit owners. Everything that is not a unit or a limited common element is a general common element. For example, in most condominiums the general common elements include, in addition to the land, such items as foundations, roofs, slabs, perimeter walls, boiler rooms, corridors, laundry rooms, common stairs, building lobby, trash areas, utility rooms and water mains.

The declaration and condominium survey will identify all units, limited common areas, and general common elements.

The benefits of condominium ownership are affordability and the opportunity for homeowners to build equity. The disadvantages are the lack of control over decisions affecting the unit owner and the possibility of improper management and governance.

The central concept to condominium ownership is the principle that each owner, in exchange for the benefits of association with other owners, must give up a certain degree of freedom of choice that she/he might otherwise enjoy in separate, privately owned property.

The property rights of condominium owners are creations of the condominium statute, and are subject to the statute, the declaration, the bylaws of the condominium association, and lawful amendments of the declaration and bylaws. This means that if amendments are adopted according to the process set out in the condominium bylaws and declaration, for example increased common expenses or rental restrictions, the amendments are binding on all owners.

The following articles are published for informational purposes and not for the purposes of providing legal advice. Please contact Galvin Realty Law Group at 425.248.2163 for a consultation about your specific needs and circumstances.