February 13th, 2008 categories: Real Estate News
The answer to the ownership of the common areas is simple, its you. The common areas can be many or few depending upon the size of the complex or the type. You however do not have an equal ownership in most cases as the most common method is to give each unit, a % ownership based on the square footage of your unit to that of the total complex.
Common areas include courtyards, parking areas for visitors, lobbies, hallways, swimming pools, gyms, elevators, roof top areas, and land. You pay for the upkeep, taxes and insurance of these areas in your monthly condo fees. You can find your ownership per centage in the condo docs. Common areas are part of your value as it makes your condo complex more in demand than others.
Its very seldom that land value becomes an issue as to value but it happened to a friend of mine whose condo in Destin, Florida was destroyed by a hurricane several years ago. The Hurricane wiped out the entire complex destroying all the units. There were 36 units that collected the damages from the insurance. They all had an equal share. The location on the beach was so good that they were offered 18 million for the land. They all agreed and sold the property for 500k each plus the insurance. The numbers were far better than the pre destruction value of the units. You could have never gotten all to agree to sell under normal times, but being destroyed it was much easier.
Some of the condo have very large common areas as living areas. The Cotton Mill Condos has a 25,000 sq. ft. courtyard, large lobby, pool, exercise room and plenty of hall ways. It is different in each building. Keeping the condo areas clean and well maintained will increase the value of your units. Not keeping the common areas will have a negative effect on every-one’s value. You own the common areas so keeping them up to standards is in your best interest.