Condominiums are either new construction or resale but the form of ownership is always fee simple. In many ways, it is similar to owning a single family home since you own all the space inside the “four walls” of your unit as well as the plumbing, electrical fixtures and other equipment and appliances that are within your unit.
Unlike a single family home, the areas outside your unit’s “four walls” are either limited common areas or common areas. Limited common areas are usually decks, patios or parking spaces and storage units that only you have the right
to use during your ownership but are maintained by the Home Owners Association which is commonly referred to as the HOA. Generally speaking, your neighbors are not supposed to use your limited common areas without your permission. Common areas are normally used by all homeowners and are also maintained by the HOA. The specific use of both types of areas are governed by the rules and regulations of the association.
Everyone who owns a unit in the condominium is automatically a member of the HOA. Each member has 1 vote per unit owned which is usually “weighted” by their percentage of common ownership. The size, height, view, etc., are some of the ways that your percentage is determined. For instance, a 1 bedroom unit on the first floor may have a .75% of common ownership while a 3 bedroom unit on the top floor with a lake view may have a 1.85% common ownership. Not only do these percentages hold weight in elections that come up from time to time but, should there ever be a special assessment, the amount you would be responsible for paying would be pegged to this number.