A condominium is a privately owned unit within a multi-family dwelling. These units can be apartments that have become a co-op arrangement, or a multi-unit dwelling designed for individual ownership. These collections of units often feature common activity rooms, swimming pools, grounds, and other shared amenities.
Condominiums are most frequently found in cities and high-tourist areas. In cities, they allow owners to have the control of owning their own property and paying into principal instead of just a rental payment. Condominiums in touristy areas can be used as vacation homes, and vacation rentals. Many owners find them to be an ideal investment in high-tourist areas as they get a free place to stay in their favorite tourist destination, and use the rental income the rest of the year to pay for their investment.
Condominiums have the same shared utility benefits as other multi-unit dwellings. They do come with other costs, however. Condominiums pay dues to a homeowner association, that can be used to maintain communal grounds. At times, a homeowner's group may choose to upgrade the windows, roof, or one of the higher-priced amenities on the building. Each condominium owner will be responsible for a portion of the upgrade cost, which can be substantial.
If your condominium has individual yards, particularly front yards, homeowners will be bound by the aesthetic rules created by the homeowner's association. There is a level of uniformity that is expected to keep property values high in these buildings. Because of this, any paint color or front yard plants must be approved by the HOA.