Getting to Know the Types of Condos… Yes there’s more than one!

Bare Land vs Conventional Condos

The term “bare land condo” may be unfamiliar to you, so first let’s break the two definitions down, as defined by the Condominium Property Act.

  • Conventional Condos are what come to mind when most people think of a condominium. It’s an apartment-style structure where each unit is the private domain of its owner. The boundaries of the unit are the walls, floors and ceiling, and the owner claims the area within these boundaries. Outside of that individual unit, the entire building is considered “common property,” owned by the owners of all the units. Real Property Reports are usually not drawn up for conventional condos. Instead, a Condominium Plan serves as a survey of the entire complex of condominiums. While the owner of a unit is responsible for the interior boundaries of his/her unit, he/she also shares the common responsibility for the entire complex, along with other unit owners.
  • Bare Land Condominiums are actually defined by the size of the lot the building is situated on. A bare land condo, like freehold land, is identified by a Real Property Report from a surveyor, which will include the structure, landscaping, yard and garage. Like a conventional condo, areas outside of the free-standing structure are common property owned by all unit owners. In other words, a bare land condo isn’t much different from a house or duplex, since the real property includes the entire lot and not just the structure itself. In fact, a single-family house can be considered a bare land condominium.

As part of an entire condominium community, restrictions will apply to a bare land condominium; an owner doesn’t have carte blanche to do whatever he/she might want with the property. Bare land condominiums do have the advantage of enhanced privacy, however, and usually have lower condo association fees. In addition, builders can build units on an on-demand basis rather than having to wait until the entire complex is near completion before any units can be sold.

Condominiums offer a real attraction for many property owners, especially busy professionals who may not have the time to commit to yard work, maintenance, repair work and everything else that goes along with owning a conventional home.