This has been one of the most controversial topics with our clients when it comes to selecting a suitable property for their primary or secondary residence. In my experience, our south Florida second home owners prefer condominiums for simplicity of maintenance and security. The majority of them come from the upper east coast and the mid-upper west of the country, and they are unaware of the ups and downs of living in a community. Most of these individuals reside in single-family houses in their towns, unless they are from metropolitan areas and are surprised at how much room and location they can acquire for their money, and the converse is true for suburban residents who find south Florida properties expensive. Those who live in suburban condominiums are frequently empty nesters on the verge of retirement.


Because condominium rules did not become effective until 1963, many buildings in Florida are still organized as co-ops. Prior to this date, developers would lease such land from a landowner for up to 100 years and build a high- or low-rise building on it, with the lease fee included in the monthly HOA payments. For many individuals, this was a fantastic opportunity to acquire a home at a far lower cost than fee-simple property. Co-ops allowed residents to own a house with the lease and construction costs plus developer profit, resulting in a significant discount on these properties compared to single-family dwellings. People were not concerned about the lease period because 100 years looked far away. There were several examples when the lease had expired and the landowner refused to renew or requested a significant increase in monthly payments, but these were rejected by courts due to public interest and the leases were required to be renegotiated fairly. Of course, there is always uncertainty! Today, the majority of coops either own their property and retain the cooperative structure for complete control, or they acquire the land and convert to a condominium.


Co-ops have share holders rather than owners because, when you engage in a cooperative relationship, you own enough shares to be allocated a certain unit, but you do not receive a deed for that unit. These cooperatives have more authority and are exempt from condo restrictions, allowing share holders to freely select how they want their cooperative to function. Although the Housing Authority continues to oversee them for discrimination and other social concerns, the board members and share holders can dismiss anyone with a majority of votes from the members. That is why many co-ops want to be controlled in this manner so that they may be more stringent about who can become a shareholder and how the premises are used. Another significant disadvantage is the financing of these shares. Only a few local banks may consider financing land-owned co-ops with a minimum 50% down payment for a limited time. Banks do not consider them tangible assets. It's really no different than buying Google shares and receiving free computer rooms, entertainment, and other perks in exchange. These constraints can still result in a terrific deal for people who wish to be in a desirable section of town for half the price.


Condominium regulations were designed for this reason, so that people might own a portion of the building, including a portion of the common spaces, as an asset. When a buyer purchases a condo, he or she receives a deed for that specific unit in the building and agrees to pay HOA fees to the board to cover master insurance, management, and running expenses. The setup is quite similar to a co-op, with the exception of being accountable for the deeded unit and obtaining HO6 insurance. Condominiums are easier to finance based on their budget and the condition of the building, which is why they appreciate significantly faster than co-ops. Some condo buildings are even approved for the FHA's First Time Home Buyers Program, which requires only 3% down. The harsh reality is that 99 percent of structures in South Florida demand a minimum down payment of 10% to 20% and are not FHA-approved. The greater the reserves and the better the state of the building, the greater the down payment and approval on the mortgage note.


These two structures are not the same as single-family residences. The majority of single-family homes are built on fee simple properties, which means that the owner owns both the land and the structure. Unless the laws are different if the home is being financed, the owner has complete authority over property maintenance and insurance. If it is owned outright, the property owner can alter it, from the layout of the backyard to the architectural component of the home, without the need for another vote. Some communities may impose limits on the exterior color or height of the home, but independence is crucial when it comes to owning a single-family home with a high maintenance cost. People want to own a piece of the earth and build a house that represents their worth and image. Finance and transfer are considerably easier because there is no association that needs to authorize the buyer for financials and history. A fee simple property owner has the right to sell the property to anyone at any time.In addition, the building on the site may be destroyed to offer a less expensive option than holding on to it as an investment. The liabilities and taxes on vacant land are quite minimal.


Some alternative communities provide single-family houses through a volunteer group in order to maintain the area more orderly and secure for their inhabitants. With the city's permission, they might decide to put up a car gate or take care of the landscaping in the common area, for example.


The majority of the combined townhouses are fee simple properties; however, there is an association because of the shared roof and planting areas. Some people prefer This way of living is low-maintenance.


Based on the purchase price, the maintenance cost of a single-family home, co-op, or condominium will be quite similar. The key distinction is who and when decides to repair or improve it. Voted board members would be held accountable for any changes made after receiving community approval, whereas the single family owner could do whatever he wants. Ultimately, purchasers pick a lifestyle since either the insurance, landscaping, or utilities are paid through the organization or privately, and the cost is comparable!