Fee Simple Ownership
First lets start off on what is fee simple ownership? Fee simple ownership (from the old word, feifdom) refers to legal rights in land, and simple means unconstrained. Fee simple ownership is the absolute and unqualified legal title to real property, including both buildings and land. This is the most commonly used type of ownership.
Know the Rules in Fee Simple Ownership
In a fee simple type of ownership, there are several possibilities with respect to the obligations of ownership:
(1) The property may not be in a subdivision at all. In this case, there will be no subdivision restrictions attached to your deed that affect your use of the property. Keep in mind that you may still be governed by city or county ordinances or zoning laws, and there may be in existence previous deed restrictions limiting your use of the property.
(2) You may be a part of a subdivision that has very minimal restrictions, no common areas, no architectural control committee and no mandatory dues. Usually these are older subdivisions.
(3) You may be in a townhome project, a garden home community, or a subdivision of homes on larger lots in which there is a legally created homeowners association. If so, each homeowner is required to be a member of the association. Many associations charge mandatory dues. The association may require a certain level of maintenance by each property owner and enforce subdivision rules. For example, you may need association approval of paint colors, fences or home remodeling.
As in the condominium form of ownership, fee simple ownership does not prescribe how developments are governed, or how maintenance is handled. For example, a townhome project, with fee simple ownership, may require the owners to fully maintain their units. Or, the townhome association may handle exterior maintenance and yard work for the owners. In subdivisions with single family homes on larger lots, it is more common for the homeowners association to manage only entrances, common grounds, parks and pools, while the individual owners maintain their own properties.
Understand Your Real Estate Ownership
Whether you are buying into a condominium regime or purchasing a fee simple property, you should have a clear understanding of the type of ownership you will have in your property. If you are buying a condominium, you should read the condo documents carefully to understand how maintenance is divided between individual owners and the common budget.
If you are buying a fee simple property, with individual ownership of the land, you should read the deed restrictions (if any) to understand the rules that apply to your property. In fee simple ownership, there may be mandatory dues to pay for common area maintenance, or, in some cases, the dues may pay for partial maintenance of the individual properties.
If you are not clear about your ownership of a property, or have a question about your obligations as a homeowner, it would be wise to review the title documents with a real estate attorney before proceeding with your purchase. Don’t hesitate to ask questions! A clear understanding of your ownership and obligations leads to a more satisfying home purchase
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Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs
In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.
For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.
Charles River Park
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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114