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Are you new to the Raleigh, NC? Home buying may be different than other areas of the country. What is the difference between a condo and a townhome?

The major difference is in what is owned. Condominium owners in North Carolina actually own the “air space” inside the unit. It is the ownership of one unit in a multiunit development while at the same time having an undivided interest in the common areas used by all the unit owners. These common areas would include hallways, lobbies and the grounds (which could also include pools, tennis courts, clubhouse, etc.). Maintenance of the exterior of the development buildings, the common areas and amenities is usually controlled by the Homeowners Association and are paid for by HOA dues.

Townhome owners own the whole unit which would include the exterior walls, roof and surface materials as well as the land below the unit (sometimes the land extends a few feet outside the unit as well). The common areas of a townhome community are owned by the Homeowners Association (HOA) for the benefit of all townhome owners and they are maintained through the payment of HOA dues.

Both condominium and townhome developments are usually subject to protective or restrictive covenants which are usually recorded in the County Register of Deeds office and in the Counties of the Triangle area they can be found on-line (the on-line search can be somewhat tedious). These are deed restrictions that can be enforced and they are conveyed and recorded as a part of the deed of each unit at the time of transfer of the property.

Under the new Offer to Purchase and Contract the home seller is now required by contract to provide the completed Owners’ Association Disclosure and Addendum (Standard Form 2A12-T) to Buyer on or before the Effective Date of the contract and to pay for any costs required to obtain the disclosure.

These covenants describe the character of the development and control the use of the units and the common areas. Typically covenants do the following:

    Set forth that governance of the HOA and voting rights of the unit owners.
    Deal with annual expenses and special assessments.
    Restrict the use of the property – this is usually single family residential but it varies.
    Deal with what is maintained.
    Make the entire set of covenants binding on successors and assigns of the original owners.
    State the time the covenants will be in effect and how they will be renewed.

Interested in a particular Raleigh Condo or Townhome Community? Give the Marti Hampton team a call and will gladly help you find out what you need to know.

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