Condo, Townhouse - Site Condo’s and Free Standing Condo’s

Real Estate Agent with JH Realty Partners 6501309180

Having moved here from the East coast in 2001, I realize people that are relocating here do not understand, and what is the norm for long time residents of Michigan,  are not the norm elsewhere.


Condo’s seem to be a bit confusing for many relocation clients


The biggest confusion is the Site Condo - so we will start with this.  What it is and why.


A site condominium is defined as a single family totally detached dwelling (no shared garages or any other attached buildings) encumbered by a declaration of condominium covenants or condominium form of ownership.


Site Condominiums are defined as:

  • Single family totally detached dwellings (no shared garages or any other attached buildings or e.g. archways, breezeways); and

  • Are encumbered by a declaration of condominium covenants or condominium form of ownership; and

  • The condominium unit consists of the entire structure as well as the site and air space and are not considered to be common areas or limited common areas; and

  • Insurance and maintenance costs are totally the responsibility of the unit owner; and

  • Any common assessments collected will be for amenities outside of the footprint of the individual site.

Many builders developing in a planned neighborhood will go site condo because it’s much quicker and easier to get approval to start building.


You will still have an association and association fees however they tend to be less than other condo fee’s.


However, if your site condo is built on a private road the association may be responsible for this road and MUST carry insurance on the road.


Free standing condo - AKA Ground condo or Detached Condo


Not to be confused with the site condo - but looks and feels like a site condo - it’s detached and many times you have a large lot that you can use (depending on condo bi-aws. Quail Crest condos is a very good example of this as they have free standing condo’s so you have the best of both worlds - some of the lots are a .5 acre or more, however the condo association takes care of the yard. Sometime this is the perfect next step to down sizing - or for the busy professional that does not want to care for the yard - however would like to feel like they are in a single family home not sharing any walls or garages.


Condo VS Townhome


Now this may be a surprise as they are not the same.  Many refer to a Townhouse due to style - but there really is a difference.  If the home is a real townhown your ownership is different - snip it from Realtor.comThe difference between a townhouse and a condo (of any size) is in the form of ownership. In a condominium, the homeowners own the inside of their home—but the exterior, the land and the common areas are owned by an association”.


A condo can come in all shapes and sizes.


So the difference is in all of the these is the ownership type and association participation.


Make sure you know what you are buying - with speaking with Esther Flynn at State Farm insurance in East Grand Rapids, MI - she says it is essential they know so you have the right coverage, if you question what it is you are purchasing they can look it up for you.


Also lending opportunities (or lack thereof) can be an issue, so know your facts.


We can help with these facts as the Gordon Group GR as listed and sold many condo’s and can guide you through the process with ease.

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Michelle Gordon is a Realtor with JH Realty Partners - Ada, Michigan -  With a team of Realtors who's Focus is 1st time home buyers, Relocation, Luxury listings and Commercial Properties in West Michigan.  You may find Michelle on facebook, twitter or linked in and she invites you to join her.


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