"Condominium” is a common term, but it means more than is generally believed. It is true that some condominiums (or "condos”) look like a series of apartment buildings. But single family home subdivisions often are also condos, as can office buildings, shopping centers and even marinas. The concept has been applied to many types of real estate because there are so many advantages. Condo owners are able to have clear ownership of their individual units while sharing the cost of maintaining common areas like roads, parking areas and recreational facilities. Developers prefer condos because an approval process that can take over a year for a conventional subdivision is reduced to a few months. They also may be able to sell individual portions of project such asan office building or shopping center during market conditions where the project would be difficult to sell as a whole.
However, condominiums are not for everyone. You must be willing to abide by the will of the majority and you must pay your monthly assessment even if you object to how the money is being spent. Similar to being a citizen of a small government, your remedy is the ballot box if you are dissatisfied with the current board of directors. Also, some condos are purely financial structures; others have social aspects which you may enjoy or dislike. You should meet with current owners of units in the condo before you buy to see if the community is a good fit for you.
I have comprehensive knowledge about condominiums which I have acquired during 30 years of assisting clients with all aspects of condominiums. I would happy to discuss any questions you may have about this topic.