You may hear the term "Common Areas" when you are looking to purchase a condominium.  Do you really know what they are?  Not all the complexes have the same common areas.

The Common Areas are jointly owned by the Homeowners in the Condo Complex.  Some items for example may include:

1.  The building of the condo (the physical structure)

2.  The lot that the building sits on

3.  Clubhouse

4.  Swimming Pool, Tennis Court, Play Structure

5.  Mailboxes

6.  Sprinkler Systems

7.  Carports/Parking Lots or Spaces/Parking Structure

8.  Grassy Areas

9.  Fitness Center

10. Meeting Rooms

11. Elevator

12. Exterior Signage, Landscaping, Park Benches

13. Heating and Cooling and Hot Water 

14. Storage Areas

15. Laundry Facility

The By Laws for the Complex should state the Common Areas and what the Association and the Owner is responsible for.  If you are ever unsure, call the Association directly and get it in writing.

The Common Areas are maintained by the Association mainly from the Association Dues that are collected from each Owner. The could also come from additional Assessments to the Owners for a specific purpose (replacing the roof, updating plumbing, pavement updates).  Know the restrictions and usage of the Common Areas in your complex.  This could be another reason the Association Dues are either higher or lower than other Condo Complexes because of amenities in the Condo Complex.  Be aware of current Assessments that could be attached to a Condo Unit when purchasing.  You'll want to make sure that those assessments get paid off from the current Owner or they will transfer to you as the new Owner.