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The differences between a freehold and regular condominium

The Differences Between a Freehold and Regular Condominium

Due to their easy to manage size, the sense of community they create, and their relative cost when proximity to amenities is considered, condominiums are some of the hottest selling pieces of real estate around. You might be thinking of buying a condo as a home or as a real estate investment; what many people do not know is that condos actually come in two different categories, freehold and regular.

Regular condominiums

Almost everyone is familiar with the concept of regular condominiums. These are buildings developed by a condominium corporation which have several units, sometime numbering in the hundreds, within one structure, on one piece of land. While home owners do own the unit itself, they do not own the land on which the condo building has been built, nor do they have title to any buildings or developments on the land. For many condo owners this is preferable, since it means instead of upkeep they just have to pay a straight fee every month.

Freehold condominiums

With a freehold condominium, the owner not only owns the unit he or she purchased but also the land on which the building stands. This means that he or she also owns any buildings that have been erected on the land, including the condo building itself. In addition, the property improvements and so on are up to the freeholder.

There are several advantages to having a freehold condominium. First off, the investment is much more valuable, since land is the really valuable part of real estate (if you don’t believe me check your latest property tax statements; sure your structure is valuable but it’s the land that can never be replaced!). For those who do like to have a bit of say so about what the exterior of their house looks like, a freehold condominium can mean the chance to make some improvements in the lawn and other landscaping areas.

Most of the time, the condo corporation will retain some control over what the freehold owner can or can’t do with the property, so don’t assume carte blanche. In addition, don’t forget that whereas regular condo ownership means that the cost of improvement is shared by all the tenants, freehold means the owner bears the cost alone.

Finally, keep in mind that while the ownership and upkeep of land and buildings is up to the freehold owner, maintenance of common property elements such as playgrounds, parking, and so on is shared among the owners, as determined by the condo corporation.

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