Condominiums are groups of housing units, where each unit is owned by an individual and shared space is communally owned.
In an article on the Balance Small Business website, James Kimmons, a real estate agent, says the main difference between condominiums and regular single homes is that there is no individual ownership of a plot of land.
Ismail Mulindwa, a property manager from I.Mulin, says Ugandans have started opting for condominium property ownership instead of renting an apartment for several reasons.
Mulindwa says one of the features of condominium living is the sharing of responsibility, for instance, cost of repairs and insurance.
“Most condominium communities have associations that are responsible for making repairs and upgrades to the building’s exterior features, such as windows, siding and roofing, which is not the case with renting and single homes,” Mulindwa says.
He adds that due to the fact that a condominium association’s policy covers parts of the home’s structure, owners often find insurance at lower rates than homeowners of single family houses of similar value.
Mulindwa, however, notes that: “This all depends on the type of master policy the association has purchased.
“ It is always a good idea to review the association’s policy to determine if you will actually catch a break on insurance,’ Mulindwa says.
Mulindwa says condominiums are often a more affordable alternative than single family homes because it is not unusual to find a three-bedroom condominium at thousands less than you would pay for a three-bedroom home.
“If this is your area and you want to buy a home, but cannot afford a house with a fence and a back yard, condominium living may provide a more budget friendly option,” Mulindwa said.
Patrick Ssemwogere, a condominium client, says it was very hard to convince him that condominium are very convenient than the single homes or apartment but after carrying out research, he was forced to get one from Nalya.
Ssemwogerere says instead of spending money on sites - supervising the contractors, buying a condominium is the best solution without any stress of buying materials and other requirements to have a structure in place.
Sheilah Namwanje, a property manager, says with time, things are changing and getting your own land will be very difficult because of the population and money.
Namwanje says when you are about to adopt the new style of condominium, you must follow the resolutions of governing meetings. Depending on the local laws governing condominiums, you may be able to request the minutes for the past year.
“This will give you the story on the community like the common complaints, crazy neighbours everyone avoids and how does the association handle disputes,” Namwanje says.
Namwanje says condominiums usually offer conducive neighbourhood environments..
“Many condominium residents are happy to share their experience with any potential new resident. It is good to introduce yourself to the occupants as a new buyer and their perceptions may help you determine if this is the sort of neighbourhood that is right for you,” Namwanje advises.
Mulindwa says you should always speak to an independent agent when purchasing any type of condominium or homeowners insurance. Here agents will help you find the best coverage at the most affordable rates.
“Whenever you purchase a home as large as a condominium, consulting the experts is a must, especially for first-time buyers. You can look for an agent who has experience in matching sellers and buyer,” he advises.
He added that condominiums have unique issues and the purchase agreements can be trickier as the owner’s associations usually have lawyers look over their documents.
Condominiums have a reserve fund, which is the amount of money the association set aside to make repairs to the shared property.
If the reserve fund is low, then it is a sign of poor management.
It can also be an indication that if there is a problem or damages the residents are sure to receive an assessment letter from the association, telling them they owe a certain amount of money to help cover the costs of repairs.