There is a common perception in Boston about what a Boston condo actually is, some think that they are nothing more than as being an apartment style buildings. Unfortunately, this perception creates some confusion about Boston condo ownership . Apartment, townhouse and garden home describe the construction layout and design of certain properties. The word, condominium, should not be used in this context. A Boston condominium does not refer to a type of building or construction design. It refers to a form of ownership of Boston real estate. Important to remember Boston condos cannot be recognized by observing the building style.
So what defines Boston condominium ownership?
A Boston condominium, is when the owner has individual title to the inside space of his unit. Sometimes the space is described as beginning with the paint on the walls. The unit owners also have an undivided interest in the physical components of the buildings and land. The legal definition of condominium is:
The absolute ownership of a unit based on a legal description of the airspace the unit actually occupies, plus an undivided interest in the ownership of the common elements, which are owned jointly with the other condominium unit owners.
In Boston condo projects that are built as multi story apartments are usually recognizable as condos because they don’t have land under each unit. In these developments, the condominium association normally maintains the exterior of the building and common grounds, but not the interiors of the units. An insurance policy is usually held by the association to cover the jointly owned parts of the property, while the individual owners carry insurance for the interior components of their unit. The owners pay a fee to support the maintenance of the common areas. A condo association is formed to make decisions about the expenditures for repairs and handle administrative work to manage the common areas of the project.
While some Boston condo projects look like lofts or apartments, others may look like duplexes, townhomes, garden homes or residences on regular lots. Generally, creating a condo regime allows the Boston developer to get more density approved than he would if he had done single ownership lots. This is usually the reason why the condo regime is chosen over the single ownership of lots. It is possible that a condominium may just be two units of a duplex. In this case the two owners may jointly make decisions concerning maintenance of any common areas. By setting up the units of a duplex as two condos, the owner is able to sell them separately to two different owners
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