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Single Family Sales Up, Consider Buying a Condo

Massachusetts homes are on the up and up. Single family house prices are rising and inventory is falling. And with home sales up, less homeowners are suffering from underwater mortgages, according to The Warren Group, a real estate consulting firm.

Single family home sales in Massachusetts are at their highest level since 2007.

But while it may become harder to land a sweet single family home, condo prices are not rising as fast. In fact, condominium prices have dropped from last year to this year.

This makes it a great time to buy a condo.

So what's the difference between a condo and a house, aside from the obvious?

Well, for a starter, the obvious isn't always so obvious. For example, sometimes what appears to be a townhouse can actually be a condominium.

Here are some key traits of a condo:

You own the space, not the walls.

Sound a bit crazy? You actually own the living space. The outside structure belongs to the condo association or to the overall owner of the complex. So you can't tear down walls in a condo that easily. The good news is that since much of the property is managed by the association, the homeowner isn't always responsible for outdoor maintenance and gardening. Of course, this depends on the condo association and the particular development you live in.

Common areas are shared.

There are many common areas, such as parks, playgrounds, pools, and even walkways. Those are shared by all the owners of the condos. These areas are also often maintained by the condo association. The drawback here is that you have to pay a fee to the condo association. That fee can run in the hundreds of dollars per month. Other drawbacksare the limitations. There are rules and limitations to how the public areas are to be used. These are usually outlined in a document called the CC&Rs.

There are many ways to own a home. Whether you're getting into your first home or whether you're picking up an investment property, have a look at our related resources below for more information on condos and other options.

Related Resources: