Are There Any Major Differences Between These Terms?
People who aren’t aware of the differences between these terms often use them interchangeably. In essence, these terms actually hold a different meaning altogether and people who are interested in buying a dwelling in any one of these associations should have the core understanding of these terms.
For the urban population, a home in a common interest development (CID) is a highly affordable option. The Common Interest Development consists of condominiums, strata, homeowners association and Co-Op Associations.
A condo is a type of home ownership that allows an individual to own an individual unit in a large complex. These multi-unit structures are usually apartment complexes where people own individual units and share common areas and amenities.
The people who purchase these units own each and everything inwards from the boundary – which is the walls of their unit. The common areas include areas such as elevators, swimming pools, hallways, and other amenities that may be available.
Condominiums charge a certain amount of fees that covers the costs of landscaping, repairs as well as charges for amenities; any rise in the expenses would also result in rising condominium fees.
Essentially, there is no difference between the terms condo and strata, unless you reside in Australia or British Columbia in Canada, where the term has encompassed townhouses within it.
It is believed that the term strata was borrowed from Geology, where it meant layers. The term strata was adopted to be used for apartment blocks that had two or more levels (or layers). However, the fact remains that a strata has the same concept of individually owned units with shared common areas.
Homeowners Association (HOA)
A homeowners association (HOA) is a not-for-profit organization that is established by, and for the betterment of the community. A homeowner association governs what kind of changes and developments can be carried out at a home or an apartment.
Having said that, a HOA is not limited to apartments only; it can also be established in a particular housing society that has homes.
A certain amount of fees is required to be paid on a monthly basis to ensure the property is kept maintained and also for any required improved carried out.
Housing Cooperative (Co-op)
A cooperative housing is a legal entity that owns a particular real estate including the common areas and all facilities that come with it. In a co-op association, individuals have to own a share in the cooperative association in order to be able occupy a unit (apartment or a townhouse). They then also have access to all the common facilities and have the right to vote for members during the voting for the Boarding of Directors.
This idea is similar to a condo, however, the individuals do not own the units themselves, they just have a share in the co-op association. Similar to other CID options, the co-op associations also charge a monthly fee, but this time around, these payments can include your mortgage payments, any taxes as well as the management fees.