Financing in California>Question Details

Levi Frakes,  in Woodland, CA

what does FHA consider a condo? I know all about condominiums, puds, cids and site condos but where do they draw the line.

Asked by Levi Frakes, Woodland, CA Mon Oct 11, 2010

I have been involved with multi family for several decades and to me anything governed by an HOA is a condo. I have seen zero lot line subdivisions that were condominium as well as PUD but each had a managing association. In my book if any elements touch or are over hanging it had better be a condominium.

FHAs Site condominium is to me a de minimus pud and probably a gated community with a minimal amout of common area to fight about. Ray

Help the community by answering this question:



This is HUD's definition of a condominum.
Condominium: a form of ownership in which individuals purchase and own a unit of housing in a multi-unit complex. The owner also shares financial responsibility for common areas.

The FHA also defines a site condominium:
A site condominium is defined as a single family totally detached dwelling (no shared garages or any other attached buildings) encumbered by a declaration of condominium covenants or condominium form of ownership.

This is a general definition:
A condominium is a form of ownership that can include apartments, townhouses, warehouse and offices. Those who purchase units in a condominium technically own everything from their walls inward. All of the individual owners have shared rights to most common areas, such as the elevators, hallways, pools and club houses. Maintenance of these areas becomes the responsibility of a condominium association. Every owner owns a share of interest in the condominium association, plus an obligation to pay monthly dues or special assessment fees for larger maintenance problems.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
Hi Levi. Condos are NOT only multi-level buildings. They can also be townhomes. Homes in my neighborhood are considered condos by definition and ruled by an HOA as a condo-association, approved by FHA as condos! There are single story (not multi-level) condominiums throughout the US.

The word 'condominium' describes ownership is held, not the physical features of the property.


Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
It is everything to do with how it is deeded. It is required to have a declaration of condominium ownership which outlines the set up, declaration of condominum, bylaws and rules and regulations,. Most states require the condominium to be approved by that states attorney general.

A condo can be several types of real estate including residential, commerical, industrial as well as several different type sof buildings including detached and attached, 1 story, 2 story and so on, as well as flat, townhouse style, low rise, mid rise, highrise or garden style to name a few.

Please see my blog on condominiums (truths and myths revelaed) I would love to have your opinion.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
A condominium is a legal term that describes ownership in a multilevel building. They are generally registered with the State Corporation Commission and have Bylaws and Covenants that owners have to comply with.

Good Luck!

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Gerard Dunn
Associate Broker
Licensed in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Assisting Homebuyer's and Seller's for 28 years
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
Much of it has to do with the way it is filed with the county assessor.

Also, with a condo you don't own the walls and floor, just the air in the room. This is the biggest difference between a condo and a townhome. Both can be governed by an HOA.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 11, 2010
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