What type of home ownership is right for you?
There are three broad categories of home ownership: freehold, condominium and cooperative.
Freehold Homes :
Freehold homes offer the most privacy and freedom of choice of any other type of home. As owner of the entire structure and grounds, homeowners are free to decorate and renovate as they please. But with that freedom comes a lot of responsibility. All of the maintenance (indoors and out) is the sole responsibility of the owner, which can be costly in terms of both money and time. Freehold ownership is the most common type of home ownership & freehold homes can be structures that are totally detached, semi-detached or attached within a specified lot/ground area.
Condominiums are typically a less costly alternative to owning a freehold house. With a condominium, you own, and are responsible for, the interior area of your unit (everything from the plaster in). Upkeep of the building and grounds is handled by the condominium association, which is funded by monthly fees collected from the owners of each individual suite. Condominiums often have strict rules regarding noise, use of common areas, pets & renovations etc. Condo residents often enjoy less privacy than residents of freehold homes.
Cooperatives (or co-ops) are comparable to condominiums, except instead of owning your unit, you own a percentage of shares in the entire building (or complex). As with condominium ownership, maintenance and repairs are paid for through the collection of monthly fees and you are subject to the rules and regulations of the co-op board. One drawback to living in a cooperative is that if you decide to sell your shares and move out, the co-op board has the right to reject your prospective buyer.
What exactly is a CONDO?
A condominium is not a type of house but a form of ownership. The owner has title to a single unit, as well as a share in the common elements such as elevators or surrounding land.Condo Housing types include:
- Row or townhouse
One of several single-family homes joined by common walls. These can be condominium or freehold units.
Houses, freehold or condominium, joined by garages or carports that provide access between the front and rear yards. Builders sometimes join basement walls so that link houses appear to be single-family homes on small lots.
- Highrise condominium
Multi-story residential building containing condominium units. A condominium is not a type of house but a form of ownership.
- Loft condominium
Multi-story or single storey building often with mixed use of work/residential containing condominium units generally converted from old buildings (hard loft) or new construction (soft loft) with high ceilings, open plans & large windows. A condominium is not a type of house but a form of ownership.