Townhouse, Condo or Single Family Home: What type of home ownership is right for you?
Depending on what type of home you purchase, detached or attached (townhome or apartment), home ownership will fall into one of the following categories:
Leasehold: A person has use of the property for a limited time. This person can rent the building or own the building and rent the land on which the building sits.
Freehold Strata / Condominium: Owner has full and sole use of a housing unit. The owner shares ownership of a common space such as the parking garage and recreation areas with others who all belong to the same condominium group. Since ownership of common space is shared, so are repair, maintenance, and replacement costs. These costs are charged back to individual owners through monthly strata fees and contingency funds.
Cooperative: Persons have a share in a residential project. They do not have ownership of a particular unit, but as shareholders, they each have use of a unit.
Joint Tenancy: Each owner holds an equal share in the property regardless of his or her individual financial contribution. An owner can assign his or her share to a non-owner while living or in a will, thereby ending the joint tenancy. If an owner dies without any specific arrangements having been made, his or her share is automatically transferred to the other owner(s).
Tenancy in common or undivided ownership: Each owner holds a specified portion of the property but the portions do not have to be equal. Each individual owner can sell or assign his or her share to any other person, subject to any restrictions that were originally stated in the deed.
Co-ownership: Co-ownership occurs when the ownership of the whole property is divided (not necessarily on a pro rated basis) between two or more individuals. Usually there is a written agreement between different co-owners in which the rights of each co-owner is described. Each co-owner may sell his or her right of ownership or dispose of it as he or she wishes.