Author Topic: Types of houses  (Read 5856 times)

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camlan

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #60 on: September 27, 2013, 07:39:36 AM »
I think hobish is trying to say that the people she works with should know that a condo is a type of ownership and a duplex is a type of home.  They don't mean the same thing although can can be used to describe the same home.

I was just added a few other ways people get confused.

Right. I didn't mean to make it more so! :)

I am in New Jersey, but work for a national company. Single family homes can sometimes be condos, they are not common except in Michigan and more recently in California. It's just that a lot of people assume connected housing = condo and it isn't really the case. I hope that makes more sense.

I am in NJ, too (hi, neighbor!). I call homes that aren't owned, but rented, as rentals. I don't recall single-family homes being called condos in MI (grew up there) at all. Is this relatively new?

It's new to me. I recently found out that some condo developments have single family houses in them. It's still a condo, because you only own the house and not the land it is built on, and you pay condo fees for upkeep and maintenance of the grounds. I'm not completely sure how it all works, but yes, there are single family condo buildings out there.
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jaxsue

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #61 on: September 27, 2013, 01:49:27 PM »
I think hobish is trying to say that the people she works with should know that a condo is a type of ownership and a duplex is a type of home.  They don't mean the same thing although can can be used to describe the same home.

I was just added a few other ways people get confused.

Right. I didn't mean to make it more so! :)

I am in New Jersey, but work for a national company. Single family homes can sometimes be condos, they are not common except in Michigan and more recently in California. It's just that a lot of people assume connected housing = condo and it isn't really the case. I hope that makes more sense.

I am in NJ, too (hi, neighbor!). I call homes that aren't owned, but rented, as rentals. I don't recall single-family homes being called condos in MI (grew up there) at all. Is this relatively new?

It's new to me. I recently found out that some condo developments have single family houses in them. It's still a condo, because you only own the house and not the land it is built on, and you pay condo fees for upkeep and maintenance of the grounds. I'm not completely sure how it all works, but yes, there are single family condo buildings out there.

I have heard of that setup for some retirement places. Interesting how housing has evolved!

perpetua

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #62 on: October 04, 2013, 04:46:45 AM »
OK, here's one loosely related to the thread title but I didn't want to start its own thread. I see this crop up all the time.

When I read here about people who live in a flat (apartment) having a complaint about one of the neighbours, the stock reply is always 'if it's a rental, complain to their landlord'. But how on earth do you know who their landlord is? I know who *my* landlord is, ie, the person who owns the flat in which I live and to whom I pay rent, but I don't have the first clue who owns any of the other flats in my building, in which these hypothetical problem tenants might live. The person who owns my flat wouldn't know who owned all the others either, so complaining to him would do no good.

I don't understand how this works in the US. Can someone explain? Is a landlord a different thing, like perhaps a 'freeholder' is in the UK (a freeholder is generally a company or individual who owns the outsides of the building but not the flats in it, and is responsible for the upkeep of the exterior etc) ? Do flats in apartment blocks have the same landlord? Are they owned by the same people (and how can anyone afford that?!) It really puzzles me.




Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #63 on: October 04, 2013, 04:49:38 AM »
OK, here's one loosely related to the thread title but I didn't want to start its own thread. I see this crop up all the time.

When I read here about people who live in a flat (apartment) having a complaint about one of the neighbours, the stock reply is always 'if it's a rental, complain to their landlord'. But how on earth do you know who their landlord is? I know who *my* landlord is, ie, the person who owns the flat in which I live and to whom I pay rent, but I don't have the first clue who owns any of the other flats in my building, in which these hypothetical problem tenants might live. The person who owns my flat wouldn't know who owned all the others either, so complaining to him would do no good.

I don't understand how this works in the US. Can someone explain? Is a landlord a different thing, like perhaps a 'freeholder' is in the UK (a freeholder is generally a company or individual who owns the outsides of the building but not the flats in it, and is responsible for the upkeep of the exterior etc) ? Do flats in apartment blocks have the same landlord? Are they owned by the same people (and how can anyone afford that?!) It really puzzles me.

Typically, a single building full of apartments (around three to six or so) will be owned by a single entity.  Individual apartments aren't typically owned, just rented by the building's owner, so it's no more expensive than owning any other building of its size and location (with the exception of any licenses needed to run an apartment building, of course.)
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perpetua

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #64 on: October 04, 2013, 05:01:19 AM »
Right. Yeah, it's completely different here, mostly. There are four flats in my house and they're all individually owned by different people. It's very common to buy a flat rather than rent it (you may then rent it out to someone else, of course; renting is common, but you're often renting from the person who owns that individual flat). We generally don't tend to have 'building management', because the flats in a building are usually separate entities. Some of the larger purpose built blocks of flats might do but in most there isn't and there certainly wouldn't be a caretaker (super) like you see in American apartment blocks. There'll probably be a freeholder who owns the outside of the building but not having bought a flat myself I don't know how this works.

I did once live in a street where one huge corporation had bought up almost all the houses in it and owned all the flats (there were three flats in each house), so we all had the same corporate landlord. That's a very rare exception though.

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #65 on: October 04, 2013, 05:11:25 AM »
Right. Yeah, it's completely different here, mostly. There are four flats in my house and they're all individually owned by different people. It's very common to buy a flat rather than rent it (you may then rent it out to someone else, of course; renting is common, but you're often renting from the person who owns that individual flat). We generally don't tend to have 'building management', because the flats in a building are usually separate entities. Some of the larger purpose built blocks of flats might do but in most there isn't and there certainly wouldn't be a caretaker (super) like you see in American apartment blocks. There'll probably be a freeholder who owns the outside of the building but not having bought a flat myself I don't know how this works.

I did once live in a street where one huge corporation had bought up almost all the houses in it and owned all the flats (there were three flats in each house), so we all had the same corporate landlord. That's a very rare exception though.

I should note that for my teenage years, I lived in three different apartments, and we didn't have supers, nor was the landlord a common sight.  Heck, I only even met one of the landlords, and that's just because he also happened to be Mom's boss (he also owned an eatery, and she worked there.)
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camlan

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #66 on: October 04, 2013, 06:40:18 AM »
In general, in the US, "apartment buildings," however many individual units there are, have rental units. Could be a two-family house where both units are owned by the same person and rented out, could be a high-rise apartment building with hundreds of units owned by a big corporation and managed by a property management company. In an apartment situation, you and the other tenants have the same landlord.

If the units are individually owned, they are condos. Some people live in the condo they own, some people rent them out. I think the key difference is that in the US, a condo building will have a condo association, or homeowners' association. So if you are renting and there is a problem, you contact your landlord, and the landlord should contact the condo association in your behalf. If you own and live in your unit, you can contact the condo board directly.
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lowspark

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2013, 10:46:52 AM »
OK, here's one loosely related to the thread title but I didn't want to start its own thread. I see this crop up all the time.

When I read here about people who live in a flat (apartment) having a complaint about one of the neighbours, the stock reply is always 'if it's a rental, complain to their landlord'. But how on earth do you know who their landlord is? I know who *my* landlord is, ie, the person who owns the flat in which I live and to whom I pay rent, but I don't have the first clue who owns any of the other flats in my building, in which these hypothetical problem tenants might live. The person who owns my flat wouldn't know who owned all the others either, so complaining to him would do no good.

I don't understand how this works in the US. Can someone explain? Is a landlord a different thing, like perhaps a 'freeholder' is in the UK (a freeholder is generally a company or individual who owns the outsides of the building but not the flats in it, and is responsible for the upkeep of the exterior etc) ? Do flats in apartment blocks have the same landlord? Are they owned by the same people (and how can anyone afford that?!) It really puzzles me.

Usually it's a company that owns and manages a large apartment complex. Here in Houston, you could rent an apartment in a complex with maybe a couple hundred (or more, or less) apartments that is owned, along with several other aparment complexes, by a large company.

And yes, they own the entire thing, outside grounds and all the apartments. In this case, when someone says "talk to the landlord" what you would really do is talk to the people in the office whose job it is to manage the complex. They are employed by the company and their job entails showing and renting apartments in addition to scheduling repairs, managing maintenance workers, etc. And handling tennant complaints.

Here's an example complex I just chose at random but it should give you an idea of how an apartment complex might be set up.
http://gables.com/find/apartment/71-gables-citywalk-waterford-square-houston-tx

lowspark

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #68 on: October 04, 2013, 10:59:25 AM »
Regarding condos (condominiums) they are relatively new here (Houston) depending on what you mean by relatively.   ;D

Back when I was in high school I took a bus tour on a trip to New York City and I remember the tour guide noting that people actually owned (as opposed to rented) the apartments they were living in in some of the more exclusive high rises.

Own an apartment! Never heard of such a thing! (This was late 70s.)

Some time in the mid 80s, the condo craze here in Houston went viral. Suddenly it was The Thing To Do to own an apartment (which was now called a condo or sometimes, a townhouse) instead of renting it. A bunch of apartment complexes (most of which were having trouble getting renters) suddenly turned into condos and were selling off each individual residence. And people bought! It was crazy as many of these were places that you wouldn't want to rent but the idea of owning it! well, that was a completely different prospect.

In the end, so many of those ended up getting foreclosed on and many got turned back into apartments. However, the ultimate result was that condos were here to stay. There were/are plenty of nice ones and I know people who live in some.

So, 70s, never heard of it. 80s, all the rage. 90s & beyond, common, representing a certain percentage of available housing along with free standing houses, apartments, duplexes, etc.

Thipu1

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #69 on: October 04, 2013, 02:01:10 PM »
Co-op here in a fairly large NYC building. 

The building is owned by the people who have bought the shares alloted to the apartment but administration of the property is entrusted to a management firm.  Our monthly maintenance payments are sent to the management firm but the checks are payable to the Tenant's Association.

Every complaint goes through a board of Tenant-Owners.  Problems of behavior are addressed directly by the board. Structural problems are directed by the board to the management firm.

Under certain circumstances, tenant-owners may sub-let apartments but they need the approval of the board to do so.  Everyone who lives here knows exactly where to go with a complaint. 

exitzero

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #70 on: October 04, 2013, 02:22:49 PM »
Duplexes in the US can be split either horizontally or vertically. I live in a duplex--I have the entire second floor, plus a laundry room and storage area in the basement.

The house next door to mine is also a duplex, but split vertically.

In and around Boston, there are tri-plexes. I have no idea what the correct name for them is, as everyone just calls them "triple deckers." They are a three-family home with each "house" being one complete floor of the building.



I just came across this thread, and I need to correct you. Around here they are called "triple deckahs"! :)

camlan

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #71 on: October 04, 2013, 06:46:14 PM »
Duplexes in the US can be split either horizontally or vertically. I live in a duplex--I have the entire second floor, plus a laundry room and storage area in the basement.

The house next door to mine is also a duplex, but split vertically.

In and around Boston, there are tri-plexes. I have no idea what the correct name for them is, as everyone just calls them "triple deckers." They are a three-family home with each "house" being one complete floor of the building.



I just came across this thread, and I need to correct you. Around here they are called "triple deckahs"! :)

I was translating for the non-Bostonians amongst us.  ;)
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


EllenS

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #72 on: October 04, 2013, 07:18:32 PM »
Many rental properties (single family homes or apartment complexes) in the US are managed under contract to a "Management Company" that serves one or many properties. 

This makes sense for an individual property owner, if you do not have the skills to physically maintain the property yourself, or live far away.  For a large building or complex that may have individual units owned by different people, or which is owned by silent investors, the Management Company will do all the day-to-day stuff for a % of the rent.

In that case, any complaints or problems about neighbors would be directed first to the management company, rather than your or the neighbor's landlord.

Snooks

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Re: Types of houses
« Reply #73 on: October 06, 2013, 05:31:45 PM »
I own a flat in the UK and DH owned one before we moved in together and they've both had the same set up.  We have a management company that runs the "Residents Association" which collects our ground rent and management fee (which is collected monthly, ours is very low but my old boss was paying £100+ a month for hers), as the owner of the property you get invited to the AGM where you decide how that money is going to be spent - in reality they send out a budget and you agree it.  The budget covers things like gardening, general maintenance such as painting the outside of the block, insurance etc.  As the management company holds information for all the landlords so if you want to complain you go to them and they investigate the issue and contact the other landlord where necessary.  So if we were renting we'd go to our landlord (or letting agent) they'd go to the management company with the complaint and it would come back down the chain.

The management company also deals with general maintenance (repointing brickwork, fixing paving stones), currently there's talk of seeing if we can go through the management company to get a good deal on double glazing if enough owners want to contribute.  That wouldn't come out of company funds but they would centralise the process.