What Is A Condominium? Here Is The Simplest Explanation.

A condominium is a home that's in an official community with other homes with shared common areas such as gyms, parking garages, and hallways.

April 12, 2020 by Dan Green

Are you thinking about maybe buying a condo?

Condominiums are homes in a community with other homes, and with a governing association. Condos typically cluster in apartment-style buildings. They can also exist as townhouses or homes in a neighborhood.

When you buy a condo, you buy a portion of the community. You own what’s within the walls of your assigned unit, plus a percentage of the common areas to the community which may include:

  • Streets and parking garages
  • Hallways and elevators
  • Gyms and grassy areas

If the building has an elevator, you own a part of the elevator. If your building has a yard, you own a part of the yard.

To manage these areas, condominium owners elect a Homeowners Association.

The condo’s Homeowners Association is a volunteer group of owners within the community. They’re typically elected to serve, and they manage the common areas of the community for its residents.

Homeowners associations hire landscapers, elevator repairpersons, painters, and whomever else is required to keep the community running smoothly.

Associations also pay the community’s insurance policy, known as a Condominium Master Insurance Policy, which insures the common areas of a building against damage. Master condo insurance policies are also called “walls out” policies because they cover what’s outside the walls of each homeowner’s unit and not what’s inside.

For insurance coverage inside a condominium unit, homeowners use a particular insurance policy designed for owners of condos that protects personal belongings from theft and damage not related to the building.

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