Five Questions to Ask Before Buying a Colorado Condominium

Filed Under (Real Estate) on 01-12-2011

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Right now, savvy buyers can find tremendous opportunities in the condominium market. But condos may come with hidden strings attached. Without doing your homework, you might find yourself paying far more in association dues than expected or suffering under onerous rules. Here are some questions to ask before making an offer:

1. Is it really a condominium? The form a community takes is important. There are three types of communities in Colorado: condominiums, cooperatives, and planned communities. It is not always apparent which is which. Distinguishing among them is important because each type of community brings unit owners different property rights. When you buy a condominium unit, you receive an ownership interest in the unit as well as an undivided interest in all the common elements. However, when you buy an interest in a cooperative, you own no real property. The association owns all the property, including all the units, and you get a right to occupy a designated unit.

Remember that just because units are attached does not mean that a project is a condominium. Attached townhomes could be developed as condominiums or a “planned community” governed by a homeowners association. A high-rise is probably a condominium, but could be a cooperative. Also, just because a salesperson refers to a development as a condominium does not mean that it is. There is only one way to tell if the project is a condominium: read the association’s governing documents. Colorado law requires declarations to state whether a community is a condominium, cooperative, or planned community. Continue reading “Five Questions to Ask Before Buying a Colorado Condominium” »

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