CHOICE on Hilton Head Island - Condo or Home?
There isn't a day that goes by that someone asks me whether or not to buy a condo or a home. The initial search is within a certain price range and so what comes up on a search for property on Hilton Head Island in the $100,000 price range, is inevitably that of a condo.
The first thing I explain is terminology - around here, we don't use the exact legal terms applicable to something - or anything - that is attached or whether or not you own the ground, or whether there is a cooperative (which we don't have here at all). In general, we call all attached product 'villas'. I'm guessing that is a genteel term that came about years and years ago but that's what we use.
So what's a 'villa'? and what does it generally mean? It means that there will be a management company - we call them 'regimes' around here, more terminology - that take care of all exterior maintenance, common area amenities (pools, tennis courts, sidewalks, roads), the landscaping, usually pest control, managing trash pickup, sometimes roofs, sometimes windows, lagoons, fences as necessary - all that for a monthly fee that can range from the low hundreds of dollars to the high hundreds of dollars. Your regime fee may depend on the location of the complex, the proximity to the ocean, the age of the structure, the number of units, whether or not they have a reserve, etc. etc.
The other general assumption is that you do not own the land - in most cases the association itself owns the land - unless in the case of The Gatherings in which circumstance that's a land lease.............The control is always vested in the board of directors for the condo/villa community and it is administered by the regime management company who receive a management fee for the service.
If the villa complex is located within a gated community, you will also be paying the homeowner association dues and will abide by those covenants as well as those covenants under which the villa community operates.
If you own a home, obviously you control when, whether, or how your property is managed and you determine expenses, insurance - you are responsible for your roof, your windows, your lawn, and general maintenance of your property.
The primary difference between both of these properties is CONTROL - because we have a high percentage of condos/villas that are used for rentals, there are rules regarding parking, pets, etc. If you have a home, it is basically your castle - within the guidelines of the community covenants - and you can exist the way you want.
The following is a graphic explaining in general, what I mean.