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Massachusetts Condominium Buyers Guide

by Massachusetts Realtor

Massachusetts Condominium Buying GuideA Guide to Buying Massachusetts Condos

When buying a Massachusetts condominium you must keep in mind you are buying a piece of a whole.  Your are deeded your actual condominium unit as well as a percentage ownership in the entire condominium project.  In many cases some condos started out as apartments and have been converted into individual condo units in the past few decades.  There is a difference between owning a Massachusetts condominium condo versus a Massachusetts single family home.   The biggest thing to remember is as an individual you generally own from inside stud to inside stud of the outer perimeter of your condominium unit.  Meaning you own the wallboard but not the inside studs of the interior walls.

Common Ownership of a Massachusetts Condominium

Common ownership, is usually areas that the individuals use in common.  Some common areas are:

  • Hallways and Entrances
  • Roofs
  • Parking lots and  driveways
  •  Foundations
  •  Grounds and Landscaping
  •  Elevators
  •  Other areas that are used by all

Every condo complex is different it is important to know what your ownership includes.  Parking spots can either be owned individually (deeded with the unit) or assigned (owned by the association).  Most condominium complexes require a unit owner to be responsible for all exterior doors and windows, while some don’t.  There can also be exclusive common areas such as decks and patios and even sometimes small yards.  Exclusive common are meant to be used and enjoyed by one individual but the cost of maintaining the area is shared by all the owners of the condominium complex.  All of these questions can be determined by reading the master deed, unit deed.

When it comes to maintaining or fixing a common or exclusive common area everyone shares in the cost.  Properly run management of a condominium will have a budget to maintain these areas and replace these areas with out asking for the homeowners for a special assessment above and beyond the condo fees.

Pros and cons of owning a Massachusetts condominium:

Pro’s

  • Little or no exterior maintenance
  • Cost of maintenance is less
  • Amenities lie pools, gyms, tennis courts and more
  • Cost of the the unit is less a much of the structure and grounds are shared
Con’s    

  • Monthly condo or association fee’s
  • Reduced privacy
  • Rules and regulations to be adhered to
  • Decision regarding issues are shared and voted on

Home Owner Association or Condominium Fees can vary greatly from one condo complex to another.  The variables can be the level of maintenance provided, whether utilities are part of the condo fee, the level of amenities, recent maintenance that was done and paid for   A low condo fee may not be necassarily a good thing if maintenance has been left undone or if the association is constantly having special assessments to cover costs on a regular basis.  Also one thing to remember while you do have to write that condo fee every month don’t fool yourself into thinking you will not have monthly maintenance in a single family home.

Condominium Bylaws state the rules and regulations of the complex.  Do not make assumption about the ability to own a pet, rent out your condo,  install a satellite dish without reviewing the bylaws.  Many condominiums have restrictions on pets, they can limit the size, type and number of pets you can own as well as mandate that you cannot install a satellite dish.  It is important to know what you can and cannot do before purchasing a condominium.

Lastly, it is important to look at the individual condominium unit as well as the entire complex.  You are buying a piece of the whole and you want to make sure the condominium in it’s whole is a viable thriving entity.

Seek the help of an experienced real estate agent when buying a condo to avoid many pitfalls condo buyers run into.

Some Massachusetts Condominium Definitions

     Master Deed- The basic condominium document spelling out the entity ownership and individual ownership.

     Bylaws- The rules and regulations of ownership with-in the condominium association.

     Master Insurance- The insurance policy covering the condominium in entirety.

     HO6 Policy- An individual’s additional policy covering the contents of an individual condominium owner.

     Condex- Though there is no legal term for condex, it is considered a unit that is sold in a duplex as a condominium.

Massachusetts Condominiums for Sale

Search Condominiums, Condos and Townhouses in  Essex County, Massachusetts

Amesbury- 01913 Hamilton – 01982 Methuen – 01844 Salem – 01970
Andover – 01810 Haverhill – 01932,01930,01935 Middleton – 01949 Salisbury -01952
Beverly – 01915 Ipswich – 01938 Nahant – 01908 Saugus – 01906
Boxford – 01921 Lawrence – 01840,01841,01843 Newbury – 01951 Swampscott – 01907
Bradford – 01835 Lynn – 01904,01905 Newburyport – 01950 Topsfield – 01983
Essex – 01929 Lynnfield – 01940 North Andover – 01845 Wenham – 01984
Georgetown – 01933 Manchester - Peabody – 01960 West Newbury – 01985
Gloucester – 01930 Marblehead – 01945 Rockport – 01966
Groveland – 01834 Merrimac – 01860 Rowley – 01969

 

Search Condominiums, Condos and Townhouses in Massachusetts, Middlesex County

Acton 01720 Lincoln 01773 Wakefield 01880
Arlington 02474,02475,02476 Littleton 01460 Waltham 02453,02554,02455
Ashby 01431 Littleton 01460 Watertown 02472
Ashland 01721 Malden 02148 Watertown 02472
Ayer 01432 Marlborough 01752 Wayland 01778
Bedford 01730 Maynard 01754 Westford 01886
Belmont 02478 Medford 02155 Weston 02493
Billerica 01821 Melrose 02176 Wilmington 01887
Burlington 01803 Natick 01760 Winchester 011890
Cambridge 02138, 02139, 02140, 02141 Newton 02458,02459,02460,02461 Woburn 01801
Carlisle 01741 North Reading 01864
Chelmsford 01824,01863 Pepperell 01463
Concord 01742 Reading 01867
Dracut 01826 Sherborn 01770
Dunstable 01827 Shirley 01464
Everett 02149 Somerville 02143,02144,02145
Framingham 01701, 01702, 01703, 01704, 01705 Stoneham 02180
Groton 01450 Stow 01775
Holliston 01746 Sudbury 01776
Hopkinton 01748 Tewksbury 01876
Hudson 01749 Townsend 01469
Lexington 02420, 02421 Tyngsboro 01879 

 

 

 

 

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