Atlanta Condominiums and Atlanta Townhomes

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Atlanta CondosThe Atlanta condominiums and Atlanta townhomes market continues to grow as property prices for residential single family homes continue to rise.  Many living in condominiums and townhomes find advantage in the afford-ability of a nice home close in, while avoiding the higher costs and maintenance responsibilities that come from owning a house. 

With payment of a monthly association fee, a variety of aspects of maintenance: yard, exterior (roof and siding for example), entrance driveways, parking lot and structures, etc. can be taken care of by the community board and a separate management company.  Even certain utilities may be included in the association fee like water, sewer, garbage, and even sometimes gas, electricity and cable.  All of these savings from your personal bills should be taken into account when considering the association fees toward your monthly debt.  What the fees cover in each community can be different, so always check carefully before considering an "attached home" purchase.

Atlanta TownhomesDefinitions of "Condominium" and "Fee Simple"

The meaning of the term "Condominium" basically implies you own "space" (the space inside) and includes all "Flats" (someone lives above or below you) and may include certain "Townhomes."  Basically, if you own a "condominium" you own and are individually responsible for everything within and including the inside walls of your unit.  You will also share "Common" ownership (with the rest of the association members) of everything outside of the inside walls (the roof, siding, grounds, parking lot, entrance to the community, etc.).  Thus the Association (of which you will be a part and will contribute to with your monthly fees) will then share the cost of maintanance and repairs of everything on the exterior of your inner walls.

"Fee Simple" ownership is exclusive to townhomes (no one lives above or below you) and means on top of the inside of the unit you ALSO own and are individually responsible for certain parts of the exterior (usually including the roof, exterior walls, decks, etc.) and may even maintain your own areas of landscaping or yard.

Every condominium and every fee simple ownership may have different levels of ownership based on how the community was originally developed, so be sure to check carefully as to what your association fees will AND WILL NOT cover for you.

Generally speaking though, the condominium association fees are much higher than fee simple ownership as the association is responsible for more of the property and costs.

Condominium Interior ViewWhich is the better choice?  Tough to say, but generally speaking condominium ownership for many seems to be a "safer" investment as costly surprise or even expected repairs/maintenance to the exterior will be covered by the association from the reserve fund - often without you even knowing repairs or maintanence were ever needed.  For "Fee Simple" ownership, the risk can be greater and you should take great caution in your pre-purchase evaluations and inspections prior to purchasing to protect you from expensive repairs that may quickly deplete funds in your personal savings.

Currently, the condo market is showing signs of strengthening.  Post 9/11 & the recession had a negative effect on the Atlanta condominium market.  Lots of inventory and many great deals for buyers have been the result.  More recently though, the trends show the condo market becoming strong again.  Sellers who have put their properties in the very best shape should do well on the sale of their condos.  Buyers expect a nice selection of well taken care of homes and for any in search of sweat equity, still plenty of opportunity.