Wednesday, 21 February 2018
DroneView Packages
This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Tired of Shoveling? Time for a Condo...

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 15 February 2017 20:52
Tired of Shoveling? Tired of Shoveling? Fotolia Stock photo

Owning a home can be a lot of work especially when you live in Massachusetts! Anyone who lived here during the winter of 2015 remembers the seemingly never-ending snow storm after snow storm! With a foot in some places last week and blizzard warnings for the next two days, here we go again! After the snow is done, there's fixing the roof, repairing the siding, landscaping - there's always something...

Condominium living is exactly the right lifestyle for a lot of people. If you are a first time home buyer, you can generally get more living space for the same price as a single-family home, developments tend to be newer, and some offer amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness centers.

If you’re just too busy or not interested in working around the house, owning a condo may be for you; the exterior maintenance is taken care of by the homeowner association so you don’t have to be concerned about painting, landscaping, snow plowing, roof replacement, etc. – the benefits of home ownership without the work!

A lot of empty-nesters also like the idea of simplifying and having someone else take care of things. Wouldn’t it be nice to just lock the door and go somewhere warm next winter without having to worry about anything? Sounds perfect if you’re someone who wants easy living; doesn’t mind having close neighbors; is OK with letting other people make decisions for you or is willing to volunteer to be on the Homeowners Association Board. You won’t mind trading some personal freedoms in return for convenience, right?

A condominium is a form of ownership that includes a divided interest - your unit, an undivided interest - common property, and exclusive use areas, ie. decks, parking spaces, some landscaped area. A condominium can be an apartment-style, an attached townhouse, a detached single-family home, a townhouse in a duplex or a tri-plex, or a floor in what was previously a multi-family house. Some communities have age restrictions and are for active-adults who are 55+ or older.

Regardless of the style of the home or the size of the development, all condominiums have homeowner associations, known as HOAs and have rules and a Board of Trustees that govern the community. Offers to purchase a condominium should always include a contingency that says the offer is subject to satisfactory review/acceptance of all documents… Most HOA rules are pretty standard, and your attorney can tell you which ones you can expect to find in most places, however, communities can and do amend the rules over the years so rules can vary.

Parking and pets seem to be the biggest issues but there may also be rules holiday decorations, gardening, decks, facility usage; bicycle and baby carriage storage, any selling or rental restrictions – these days many developments will not allow investors … Some associations dictate what vendors you can use to replace the windows – yes, units owners are often responsible for windows, doors; know what you will be responsible for.

The lender will review the budget and send a questionnaire asking about the overall well being of the development – i.e. number of owner occupied units, if there are any pending lawsuits, special assessments; but as the buyer, it is really important for YOU to read the rules. Only you can know if you’ll be comfortable living by the rules that govern the condo development you’ll be sharing; and the best time to do that is before you make an offer. Once you accept the condominium rules (or not) you can move forward and enjoy the lifestyle that’s right for you!

About the author: Marilyn Messenger, a licensed real estate broker, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) associated with Andrew Mitchell in Concord, has sold dozens of condominiums and townhouses (new and resale units) in Sudbury, Wayland, Maynard, Concord, and the towns west of Boston since 1993. As a condominium/townhouse owner and former Board of Trustees Member of a 155 unit complex, she knows how first-hand about buying and selling condominiums and about condo living. Ask Marilyn at 508-596-3501 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Search for homes at

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Marilyn Messenger, CRS

It has been a pleasure representing home-buyers and sellers in Wayland, Sudbury, Maynard, and the towns west of Boston since 1993. I use a project management approach to help my buyer and seller clients put a solid plan in place to accomplish their goals. Personal attention to detail along with online communication, management, and marketing systems maximize efficiency while minimizing stress. Relationships built on trust and respect are the foundations of my business. See what my clients say...

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.