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What Is a Condo? The Answer May Surprise You

condominium“If you ask most people to explain what a condo is, they’ll tell you, “It’s like an apartment, but you own it.” Or, “It’s like a home, but without a yard.” Both of these descriptions are mostly true, but there’s a lot more to it.

A condo (short for “condominium”) is a private residence owned by an individual or family in a building or community with multiple units. Although condos are usually part of a larger building, “detached condominiums” also exist. What all condos have in common is that they share common areas—such as yards, garages, rec rooms, or gyms—with other units that the condo owners don’t have to maintain themselves, making home upkeep that much easier.

For this convenience, condo owners pay dues to a condo board—typically made up of elected condo owners—who handle the hiring of landscapers, pool cleaners, and other repairmen for anything that must be fixed, from faulty elevators to gopher infestations in the common yard. This is much the way a homeowners association, or HOA, functions. (Leaky pipes and plumbing and/or roof repairs fall into more of a gray area, but generally if it’s outside the walls of your unit, it’s the board’s responsibility to fix.)”

Read the full article at Realtor.com.