Madison WI condos are a terrific alternative to a single family home for a variety of reasons. Whether you're looking to buy downtown, looking to simplify your living arrangement, or do too much traveling to tend to a home with a yard, there is a Madison condo to suit your needs. To read more about condo ownership and the Madison condo lifestyle, Click Here.
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The beauty of condo ownership is the ease with which your time will be freed up to spend with friends and loved ones and to pursue other interests and leisure activities. At Lake & City Homes Realty we pride ourselves on helping our clients locate the type of homes and Madison condos that fit your lifestyle. Whether you're looking for downtown Madison condos, pet-friendly condos, lakefront or lake view condos, golf course condos, or new construction condos, you've come to the right place! Visit our West Side condos or East Side condos pages if you've already decided which side of town you want to live on. Let's take a look at some of the most common condo styles available in the Madison WI area.
Ranch Style Condos
A ranch condo is essentially a single-family home, but it is part of a master-planned community that is treated the same as a condominium community. In other words, while each condo owner lives in a separate home, the exterior of the home and all of the common elements are maintained by the community and must abide by the condo rules. By purchasing a ranch condo, you enjoy the benefits of living in a condo while also maintaining a greater amount of privacy as well as a greater ability to personalize your home and to make it your own.
With townhouse condos, the individual units are attached side-by-side with each other. As such, townhouse condos create sort of a fusion between ranch condos and traditional condo structures. The inside of each townhouse unit is owned by each individual resident, but the exterior portion is shared by all of the owners. Common elements typically include the outside of the building, the outside yard, the play areas, the parking spaces, the exterior door and the garage door. Townhouse condos are not to be confused with freehold townhouses, which do not offer common elements areas that are shared by the condo owners.
Garden style condos typically feature less than three levels with each unit having a patio or balcony that allows the owner to enjoy the great outdoors. This is a nice compliment to the abundance of green space that generally surrounds the condo, all of which is available for common usage. These condos usually have a main entrance, which opens into a hallway for all of the residents to use.
Of course, you may also choose to live in the traditional condo apartment, which may be available within a high-rise, mid-rise or low-rise building. One clear benefit to this type of condo is the view that can be obtained at higher levels. As with other types of condos, you will enjoy a number of shared amenities with the condo apartment. All of these amenities are maintained in a far more concentrated area than what is found with the ranch condo, but this setup does reduce the amount of privacy that you enjoy as a condo owner.
Pros & Cons of Condo Ownership
Trying to decide between purchasing a condo or a single-family home? If so, there are several pros and cons that you should consider about both options. By carefully exploring the advantages and disadvantages of owning a condo versus a single-family home, you will be certain to purchase the type of housing that is best suited to your personal needs. Below we explore the pros and cons of condo ownership.
One clear advantage of owning a condo is that there is less maintenance involved with this type of home than there is with a single-family home. While you will still need to take care of maintaining the items within your condo, you won’t have to worry about things such as mowing the lawn, fixing the plumbing or other common maintenance issues associated with owning a single-family home.
Limited Ability to Personalize
While you do enjoy taking a break from performing routine maintenance and repairs, you are far more limited in the amount of personalization you can enjoy with a condo. Clearly, you can’t paint the outside a different color or even get your hands dirty with a little landscaping when you live in a condo. So, if you want to purchase a home that you can make completely your own, condo living might not be right for you.
Close to the Action
Another advantage to living in a condo is that you will almost certainly be close to all of the action because most condos are located in downtown areas or along transportation routes that make it easy to access all that the city has to offer. In addition, many condos host regular events for their condo owners to get together and enjoy each other’s company.
Lack of Privacy
Although condo owners do enjoy privacy within their individual units, those who are extremely concerned about privacy may find condo living to be a bit uncomfortable. After all, most condos feature dozens of units, which means you will be sharing the grounds with a number of other owners.
Most condos feature a number of amenities that are difficult for single-family homeowners to afford, such as swimming pools, city parking, exercise equipment, tennis courts, beautifully landscaped yards and more. As a condo owner, you not only get to enjoy using these facilities, you also don’t need to worry about taking care of them because that job is taken care of for you!
Basic Condo Terminology
When it comes to purchasing a condo, understanding all of the terms that are involved with the purchase process can be a bit overwhelming and confusing. After all, most people are not familiar with the jargon or legal terms that are used in the business. While no one should be expected to become a real estate expert when purchasing a condo, it is a good idea to have some familiarity and a basic understanding of many of the terms that are used in the business. Here’s a look at some of the most common terms you can expect to see in your purchase agreement.
The Unit is the portion of the condo that is privately owned by individual people. As the Unit owner, you enjoy exclusive ownership of the Unit, which may include the living space as well as a separate storage area, parking space or other areas that are not directly connected to the living area. The specific boundaries of the Unit are defined in the Declaration.
Common Elements refers to all portions of the condo property aside from the individually-owned Units. This includes the exterior, the entranceway, the halls, the meeting rooms, the elevator, the land, the roads, the recreational areas and any other common space.
Limited Common ElementsThe Limited Common Elements are areas within the condo that are limited to the use by one or a few members of the building, but those residents do not actually own the space. Limited Common Elements areas might include things such as the balcony, patio, garage parking space, storage are or boat slip.
In addition to defining the specific boundaries of the Unit being purchased, the declaration also legally declares a particular piece of property to be a Condominium. In addition, it establishes that the condo Units are individually owned while the Common Elements are owned by all of the Unit owners. This part of the purchase agreement also specifies the percentage of the Common Elements that each Unit owns as well as the number of votes each owner receives within the Association.
The Declarant is the company that is actually building or developing the property. The purchase agreement may stipulate that the Declarant is to receive a specific amount of time to finish the construction of the project or to sell the condo Units. During the time, the Declarant has the right to appoint directors to the Association board, but elections to add more directors to the board will be held as Units are sold. The Declarant may exercise control for up to ten years with expandable condos and for up to three years with other types of condos.