This is the beginning of a brand new series of articles for buying a condo in Gulf Shores so check back with the site often as the number of tips will continue to grow.  

Condo Buying Tip #1 – Know the Difference in Ownership

Most people realize that there’s a big difference between owning a condo versus a single family home but it never hurts to go over the details.

There are technical and legal differences of course but there are also differences that apply to everyday living that is sometimes overlooked.

In general, with condos you solely hold title to your individual unit including the interior walls and air space.  Everything else is considered “shared ownership” with all of the other owners in the community.  The grounds, hallways, elevators, stairs, amenities, landscaping, and structure (also referred to as common areas) are all jointly owned.  So, as you can imagine, what goes along with shared ownership is shared expenses which is covered by your monthly HOA fees or special assessments.

When we think of condos we usually think of a multi-story building that looks similar to an apartment building but there is another trend that’s growing across the country as well.  You can also find condo communities that look like a regular single family home neighborhood, like The Rookery III.  The condo rules still apply though.

In Gulf Shores, the vast majority of condo owners purchased their units to capitalize on the incredible amount of tourists who visit our beach but there are still plenty of folks who live here full time.   

While some full time condo owners live on the beach, I find that most prefer to live just off the beach in communities like Sailboat Bay or Cypress Point at Craft Farms.  

The biggest difference that would apply to everyday living would be the obvious – the proximity you are to your neighbors.  As with anything, you just have to make a judgement call to see what best fits your needs.  Many condo owners that I know, like the idea of having nearby neighbors.  One big reason would be for added security.

Another big difference to owning a condo vs a single family home has to do with maintenance.  Upkeep of the grounds and all structures are maintained by the HOA so unless you want to volunteer your efforts, you won’t have to lift a finger.

Yes there are pros and cons to condo living and that list could change on both sides if your main focus is to rent your condo out to tourists.

If you’re buying a condo in Gulf Shores, give me a call.  You’ll likely have a lot of questions and I may answer some things that you didn’t consider.  Let’s go shopping!

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.