Newton MA Condos for Sale- Condominium Buying Guide
If you are involved in purchasing a Newton MA condo, it is important to understand the legal ramifications of this type of ownership. Since you will be sharing land, amenities, common areas and amenities, there are rules and regulations that you must be familiar with. There are a benefits to condo ownership however certain Newton condos may have restrictions that will affect your lifestyle. Visit Newton MA real estate for information that will assist you in evaluating all property for sale.
What is a Condominium
A condominium is a form of land ownership which is governed in Massachusetts by laws found in the Massachusetts Condominium Act. This act covers the requirements for unit owners and condominium associations including matters related to interests in common areas and facilities, mandatory provisions for the association's by-laws and expenses incurred by the association of unit owners.
Newton condo units typically consist of two or more units. Unit owners share joint ownership of common areas (grounds, hallways, etc.). The master deed is a document that places the land into condominium status and details the ownership structure. If you were to buy a Newton MA home, you would have ownership the land and the building and could have joint ownership of green space with improvements This type of ownership is often referred to as PRD (Planned Unit Development) or PUD (Planned Unit Development).
Each unit owner will own a "percentage of interest in the common areas" as outlined and specified in the master deed.The boundariesof individual ownership and common ownership are also described in the master deed. The typical areas for common ownership other than the land parcel include elevators, hallways, staircases and amenities such as pools and tennis courts. Areas that service a specific unit, while still held in common, may also be designated as the "exclusive right to use" of a specific unit. Parking spaces, patios and balconies are typical examples of an exclusive area.
Newton MA Condo Styles
- Garden (flat) - Contains one-level of finished living space.
- Townhome - Finished living space on two or more levels.
- Detached - Free-standing building (no other unit is located in that same building).
- Duplex - Often referred to as a condex with two units that are attached. There may be several duplexes/condexes within a particular complex.
- Triple Decker - A triplex unit typically a conversion from a 3 unit apartment building.
- Loft - Units developed from commercial/industrial buildings and converted to large open living areas.
- Low Rise Building - Commonly described as a garden style building that has 4 or fewer levels.
- Mid Rise Condo - Often mixed use buildings of 5-10 stories.
- High Rise - May contain garden and townhome units and greater than 4 levels total in the building. High rises are commonly serviced by an elevator.
Condominium Management and Associations
The document that establishes the criteria for managing the condominium and common areas is called The Trust Agreement or the By-Laws and is recorded with the Master Deed. This document describes the structure and responsibilities of the Trustees who assume responsibility for the management of the association. Their tasks often include establishment of an annual budget, collection of fees; enforcement of rules and regulations, and managing of finances. Trustees may hire a professional management company to assist with these responsibilities. (The unit owners usually meet on an annual basis (minimum) which are scheduled by the Trustees according to the by-laws. At this meeting, the individual owners vote on the annual budget and to review other expenditures and condo issues.
Monthly Condo Fees
The management and maintenance of the association is determined by the Trustees and ratified by the unit owners as specified in by-laws of the condominium. Unit owner condo fees are based on the percentage of ownership of the common areas and the annual budget. If there is a shortfall, there may be a "Special Assessment" made to cover this additional expense. Based on the amount of shortfall, this may be charged as a one-time fee or spread out over several months or years.
Association Rules and Regulations
The Rules and Regulations regarding the use of the condominium and facilities are usually determined and established by the Trustees and may be voted on and changed from time to time by the Unit Owners.
What a Newton Condo Buyer Should Know
Visit Newton MA homes for sale to view all condos for sale.
If you are thinking of buying a Newton MA condominium unit, be sure to review:
1. Condominium Documents - Master Deed, Condominium Trust, etc.
2. Rules & Regulations - Pets may not be allowed. Can you rent the unit?
3. Financial Statements - Annual and Current Budget, Delinquency Rate
4. Capital Reserve Fund - Will FHA approve the fund?
5. FHA, VA Approval - Is a current approval in place?
6. Special Assessments - Pending and approved
7. Management Company - Is there one? Who is it?
8. Pending Legal Actions - Are there any?
9. Ownership Concentration - How many units are owner occupied?
10. Monthly Condo Fee - What does it cover?
11. Master Insurance Policy - Verify coverage
12. Annual Meeting Minutes and Trustee Minutes (When Available)
If you are going to buy a Newton MA condo you should have the documents reviewed by your attorney. Your Newton Buyer's Agent should also be certain your offer provides for a cancellation should any part of the documents not be acceptable to you.
Importance of Working With a Newton REALTOR in Your Condo Purchase
Condominium structures and considerations vary by city, state and region. The above is just a general guideline on the most common type of condominiums. Your Newton REALTOR can provide additional details and educate you on everything that you need to know regarding your condo purchase, including information on co-ops and informal complexes such as converted multi-family buildings.
As the Regional Manager of Virtual Homes real estate I can personally provide buyer agent services for your purchase of a Newton MA condo.