Did you know there is more than one type of condo?
Do you know the difference between a Stacked or Row House?
Here are a few simple definitions of different home types you may run into while house hunting.
Whichever type you choose to purchase, it's important to read the condo rules and declaration (if applicable) which should be provided to you once your offer on the home is accepted. Look for rules regarding pets, parking, barbecues and any other restrictions that could potentially impact your lifestyle.
There are two main types of Condos; Freehold and Leasehold.
Freehold: Freehold Condos fall into three categories and offer a lot of benefits. The ownership of the property is collective and so the homeowner contributes fees for the ongoing maintenance and improvement of the property and common elements.
- Standard Condominium: You are the owner of your unit, plus you have an interest in the property's common elements and assets. This means the lobby, hallways, elevators, rooftop terrace, gym etc. You cannot separate this interest from ownership of your unit and therefore your condo fees would go towards the maintenance or service requirements that go with it.
- Vacant Land Condominium: In a VLC development you may see a combination of types of homes ie. detached and townhomes. VLCs often offer homeowners the care-free lifestyle standard condominiums provide like, snow shoveling and lawn maintenance services, with the added freedom of owning everything inside your property line.
- Common Elements Condominium: In this type of condo development you'll see individual addresses rather than unit numbers. You own your house, the land on which it sits AND you and your neighbours share ownership of the roads and other "common elements" (like a community room or landscaping feature) in the development. Here's where it gets tricky... Your part-interest in the condo corporation is attached to the parcel of land you own, not your house. The Parcel of Tied Land (POTL) is permanently attached to your interest in these common elements.
Leasehold Condominium: With a Leasehold condo, you purchase the home you will occupy, but you and the builder are just leasing the land, which is usually owned by a government municipality. The homeowner owns their unit and also shares any common elements owned by the condo corporation for that development.
As the land is only leased by the builder or developer, they're paying rent towards it and therefore your condo fees will contribute towards the rent being paid to the landowner.
Condominium Apartment (Strata): A condo apartment is a self-contained housing unit within in a building that includes other similar units. They range is size from studios (bachelor apartments) to multi-bedroom suites. Each unit has its own kitchen, bathroom, heating and cooling system. These buildings usually feature a number of amenities for the homeowners to share like a pool, gym and community room.
Townhome: A townhome is the same as a Row house or Townhouse. These are more than two, similar single-family homes, attached side-by-side. Exterior units refer to the homes at the ends of blocks where only one side is attached, while Interior units are those in the middle, attached on both sides.
Stacked Townhome: These are townhomes stacked one on top of the other and are attached side-by-side, but are also stacked vertically with 3 or 4 units on top of each other. While each unit has a front and back, the lower units tend to have a patio or balcony and the upper units may have rooftop access.
Single-family Detached: One home or unit that stands alone on its own lot. These are normally freehold.
Single-family Semi-detached: A home that is attached on one side to another home, unlike townhomes, these are only in groups of two. These are normally freehold.
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