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Buying Charleston SC Condo | Understanding Condo Ownership

Condominiums For Sale in Charleston SC | Charleston SC area condos for sale: Waterfront condos, beachfront condos, luxury condos, lofts, high-rise condo listings new construction on MLS for sale in Charleston SC.

Charleston, South Carolina isn’t just gorgeous large plantation homes and mansions with lots of history although we know the visitors that come here want to believe that. Granted we are very proud of our rich history of stunning Victorian homes built hundreds of years ago we still have beautiful condos for sale that fit today’s lifestyle. Condos for sale in Charleston SC range in style, size, and price as you can imagine. There are condos for sale in downtown Charleston that exceed $5 Million to $60,000 condos in the outlying communities of Charleston like West Ashley. With the highest listing (not sold) being $19 Million for top floor penthouse of The People’s Building Condo.
 
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So What's a CondoCondo RegimeRegime FeesHigh-Mid Rise?FinancingTownhouse?Pros & Cons
Condo, obviously an abbreviation for condominium is legally understood to mean an “apartment style” form of real property “real estate” is individually owned. Otherwise an apartment house, office building, or other multiple-unit complex, the units of which are individually owned, each owner receiving record-able deed to the individual purchased unit, including the right to sell, and obtain a mortgage lien. Furthermore, the use of land access to common facilities such as pool, park, sidewalks, hallways, heating system(s), elevators, and other exterior areas are executed under legal rights associated with the individual ownership. These rights to common facilities are controlled by the association of owners that jointly represent ownership of the entire piece. The difference between an “apartment” complex and condominium is purely legal, and here in the United States most recognize condo to mean ownership vs renting/leasing for apartment.

 

 

VillaA Villa is really just another name for a condo or townhouse that is usually in a resort. Simply a more dressed up name for the same thing. Originally it was meant to mean an elegant upper-class country home, honestly now it is just a “snazzier” name for condo so those who purchase in a more expensive or “exclusive” community feel better about owning what amounts to a condo or townhouse. 

How’s a “condo regime” different than a condo? Condo regime is generally known as an association of homeowners defined as an entity comprised of homeowners living or owning most specifically within a particular area, whose principal purpose is to ensure the provision and maintenance of community facilities and enforcement of the various covenants and restrictions. A condo regime does not necessarily mean the real estate owned are necessarily “condos” as commonly known as described in the first tab. An HOA is created upon the recordation of a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (“DCC&R”) in local land records. Each lot and common area is subject to the CCRs. Unlike a technical understanding of condominiums, the bylaws of the HOA are not recorded in land records. A neighborhood can actually be held or titled under a condo regime which is most easily understood by saying all the common property owned by the association (neighborhood) is managed by the association of home owners. Therefore all the land, common areas, exterior maintenance, common land, facilities are part of the HOA even though they may be single family homes. Rare, but it is the case, and one good example locally is Patriots Province in Mt Pleasant.
Regime fees are the monthly, or quarterly payments due to the association to pay for your percentage of costs necessary to sustain the community’s assets. For example most regime payments (at least here in Charleston) pay for the insurances for the community (hazard, wind, flood, general liability), ground maintenance, amenities, exterior upkeep, repair and replacement. When you own in a condo or condo regime the monies paid into the association account is used to pay for new roof, new siding, insurances, pools, roads, tennis courts etc. It would then be the owner’s prudent responsibility to carry an interior insurance policy for protection against neighbors damage if pipe burst in your unit for example. 
The truth is there really is no technical definition of a “high-rise condo”, but for all intents and purposes let’s say a “tall” apartment condominium building with at least 7 stories and an elevator. In the U.S., the National Fire Protection Association defines a high-rise as being higher than 75 feet (about 7 stories). MID Rise – Apartment or condos being from 4 stories to 7 stories in height. Leaving low-rise to mean anything under 4.
Having been in the mortgage industry once for over 13 years I know first hand that getting loans for condos isn’t as easy as it is for buying a single family detached property. There are a lot more factors that come into play with an attached home vs unattached. Reason being, condos are usually less desirable and become even more less desirable if the community has other factors in play most of which concern the occupancy of primary residence vs renters. From a lenders standpoint a community becomes more risky to lend in if the majority of the condo development is comprised of tenants vs owners. Except in a vacation or second home scenario because then they know it’s common place and standard procedure and most owners have their units in a professional vacation rental program for investment purposes. Whereas a regular suburban condo development was never set up for that purpose. For instance: Fannie Mae Loans require – A project for which all of the following are true:

  • at least 90% of the total units in the project have been conveyed to the unit purchasers;
  • the project is 100% complete, including all units and common elements;
  • the project is not subject to additional phasing or annexation; and
  • control of the HOA has been turned over to the unit owners.

FHA – Condominium mortgages are the best performing loans in their portfolio, accounting for only 5.79% delinquency vs 6.96% for detached single family. FHA Condominium Resource book states that prior to the change in FHA’s condo policy, the FHA’s market share of condos and single family moved closely together, even as the FHA receded from the market at the height of the bubble. Since the policy change, the two market shares have diverged steadily over time with the exception of 2013.

  • The owner-occupancy requirement is 50% (Current legislation requests dropping to 25%)
  • No more than 15% of units be more than 60 days due, excluding REOs. Dues for lender owned units are rarely received by associations in a timely fashion. Some state laws prohibit collection of delinquent assessments until 90 days past due, and many association governing documents do not consider owners to be delinquent until 60-90 days. (New law requests 90 days instead of 60)
  • No more than 50% of units can be FHA insured already. (NAR requests new legislation increase it to 100%)

Townhouse also known as “row house”, without getting into too much technical jargon since they are much like that of condos, the easiest way to summarize is that the owner of each unit owns the dirt/ land and liability under, in front, or behind their unit. Most often recognized by home that touches the ground and has a small front and back yard. In most instances there is still a community HOA for the neighborhood common areas upkeep, and exterior maintenance unless otherwise stated in the by laws or CCRs. 
PROs – when living in a condo every owner shares in the expense of the amenities (if there are such), usually lower prices unless living in high congested cities such as Miami or NYC for example. No responsibility of yard or property maintenance except for interior of your unit. If you live in a mid or high rise, depending on location often times beautiful vistas due to height vs being in a house closer to ground.                          CONs – Sometimes costly monthly or quarterly regime dues, and sometimes also yearly HOA dues as well. Risk of poor capital management by the HOA. For example if budget set out by the HOA isn’t properly estimated or mismanaged, the association of home owners (i.e. ALL owners) could be responsible for unforeseen out of pocket expense for necessary work in the community. Fear of “special assessments,” which is just a snazzy expression for pay up because we don’t have enough money to cover the cost of whatever it is that is needed to be done to protect your asset. A good instance could be all the roofs of the entire complex community need to be replaced and their is not enough capital in the budget to cover that expense or something unforeseen in the development came up that has to be addressed and monies weren’t set aside for such an event.

Mount Pleasant CondosDaniel Island CondosJames Island CondosWild Dunes CondosKiawah Island Condos Johns Island CondosFolly Beach CondosIsle of Palms Condos – West Ashley Condos

Results 1 - 24 of 577 Set Up Email Alerts

201 Arctic, Folly Beach, SC, 29439

3 Beds 3 Baths 1305 Sqft
OCEANFRONT***Do you enjoy the sounds and views of the Atlantic Ocean? If so, this Gorgeous third story unit with amazing un-obstucted views of the OCEAN is what you are looking for! This three (3)...
OCEANFRONT***Do you enjoy the sounds and views of the Atlantic Ocean? If so, this Gorgeous third story unit with amazing un-obstucted views of the OCEAN is what you are looking for! This three (3)...
$ 820,000

2621 Egret Crest, Charleston, SC, 29414

2 Beds 2 Baths 964 Sqft
Desirable second floor flat with the Split floor plan, 2 bedroom, 2 bath. Fantastic community that restricts high rental usage making for a well kept, quiet place to live!nThe Screened porch off the...
Desirable second floor flat with the Split floor plan, 2 bedroom, 2 bath. Fantastic community that restricts high rental usage making for a well kept, quiet place to live!nThe Screened porch off the...
$ 139,900
Golf

5557 Green Dolphin, Kiawah Island, SC, 29455

2 Beds 2 Baths 953 Sqft
Charming two bedroom, two bathroom villa in the heart of Turtle Cove. This unit is conveniently located on the first floor and is sold furnished. The bedding set up is perfect for rentals and you are...
Charming two bedroom, two bathroom villa in the heart of Turtle Cove. This unit is conveniently located on the first floor and is sold furnished. The bedding set up is perfect for rentals and you are...
$ 389,000
New Construction

145 River Landing Dr, Charleston, SC, 29492

3 Beds 3 Baths 3241 Sqft
Under Construction. The Penthouses at Daniel's Corner. Only 2 residences located on the 3rd floor of this mixed-use building. Penthouse 301 will feature 3 BR 3BA, 3241 SF with a cosmopolitan,...
Under Construction. The Penthouses at Daniel's Corner. Only 2 residences located on the 3rd floor of this mixed-use building. Penthouse 301 will feature 3 BR 3BA, 3241 SF with a cosmopolitan,...
$ 999,000

60 Fenwick Hall Allee, Johns Island, SC, 29455

3 Beds 2 Baths 1388 Sqft
Possible Short Sale. This 3 bedroom 2 bath condo is in convenient location minutes to downtown, James Island, West Ashley and Folly Beach. Amenities include: community pool, fitness center,...
Possible Short Sale. This 3 bedroom 2 bath condo is in convenient location minutes to downtown, James Island, West Ashley and Folly Beach. Amenities include: community pool, fitness center,...
$ 160,000
Golf

1341 Pelican Watch Villas, Seabrook Island, SC, 29455

1 Beds 2 Baths 906 Sqft
This villa is on the first floor and has a Million Dollar view. Some updating has been done with granite counters in the baths; one with shower and one with bath/shower.The kitchen has stainless...
This villa is on the first floor and has a Million Dollar view. Some updating has been done with granite counters in the baths; one with shower and one with bath/shower.The kitchen has stainless...
$ 297,000
New Construction

145 River Landing Dr, Charleston, SC, 29492

3 Beds 3 Baths 3097 Sqft
Under Construction. The Penthouses at Daniel's Corner. Only 2 residences located on the 3rd floor of this mixed-use building. Penthouse 302 will feature 3 BR 2.5 BA, 3097 SF with a cosmopolitan,...
Under Construction. The Penthouses at Daniel's Corner. Only 2 residences located on the 3rd floor of this mixed-use building. Penthouse 302 will feature 3 BR 2.5 BA, 3097 SF with a cosmopolitan,...
$ 975,000
Price Drop
(-1.86%)

135 Pier View, Daniel Island, SC, 29492

3 Beds 2 Baths 2291 Sqft
Located in Pier View on Daniel Island, this three bedroom condo's open floor, with spacious and light filled rooms, is perfect for entertaining. Two balconies provide the perfect spots to take in the...
Located in Pier View on Daniel Island, this three bedroom condo's open floor, with spacious and light filled rooms, is perfect for entertaining. Two balconies provide the perfect spots to take in the...
$ 529,000
Golf

317 C Shipwatch, Isle of Palms, SC, 29451

3 Beds 3 Baths 1322 Sqft
Renovated three bedroom, three bathroom oceanfront condo. The master bedroom and living area have beautiful ocean views from this third floor unit. Kitchen features granite counters, updated...
Renovated three bedroom, three bathroom oceanfront condo. The master bedroom and living area have beautiful ocean views from this third floor unit. Kitchen features granite counters, updated...
$ 685,000
Price Drop
(-3%)

411-409 The Village At Wild Dunes, Isle of Palms, SC, 29451

2 Beds 2 Baths 1288 Sqft
Beautiful 2 bedroom 2 bath unit at The Village in Wild Dunes. This property consist of unit 409 and 411. It is a lock out unit and can be rented as a 1 bedroom 1 bath or 2 bedroom 2 bath unit....
Beautiful 2 bedroom 2 bath unit at The Village in Wild Dunes. This property consist of unit 409 and 411. It is a lock out unit and can be rented as a 1 bedroom 1 bath or 2 bedroom 2 bath unit....
$ 775,000

700 Daniel Ellis, Charleston, SC, 29412

2 Beds 1 Baths 948 Sqft
First Floor Unit, close to downtown, Folly Beach. Fireplace with gas logs, built in wine rack, walk-in closet. Covered patio, open kitchen with bar stool seating. All appliances convey.
First Floor Unit, close to downtown, Folly Beach. Fireplace with gas logs, built in wine rack, walk-in closet. Covered patio, open kitchen with bar stool seating. All appliances convey.
$ 168,000

1300 Park West, Mount Pleasant, SC, 29466

2 Beds 2 Baths 1137 Sqft
LOOK NO FARTHER...CANCEL YOUR GYM MEMBERSHIP, BOAT STORAGE, TENNIS, POOL, AND STORAGE, BECAUSE THIS COMES WITH ALL OF THAT AND A GARAGE. GATED COMMUNITY CLOSE TO NEWEST HOSPITAL, CLOSE TO NEW...
LOOK NO FARTHER...CANCEL YOUR GYM MEMBERSHIP, BOAT STORAGE, TENNIS, POOL, AND STORAGE, BECAUSE THIS COMES WITH ALL OF THAT AND A GARAGE. GATED COMMUNITY CLOSE TO NEWEST HOSPITAL, CLOSE TO NEW...
$ 189,900
Price Drop
(-1.59%)
Golf

1331 Pelican Watch Villa, Seabrook Island, SC, 29455

1 Beds 2 Baths 906 Sqft
Beautifully updated ocean front condo! Lower level villa with spectacular, unobstructed ocean and river views! The beach access boardwalk is only steps away from your back door! Enjoy beautiful...
Beautifully updated ocean front condo! Lower level villa with spectacular, unobstructed ocean and river views! The beach access boardwalk is only steps away from your back door! Enjoy beautiful...
$ 310,000
Price Drop
(-1.6%)

121 Arctic, Folly Beach, SC, 29439

1 Beds 1 Baths 512 Sqft
Least expensive ocean front property at Folly...kitchen renovation offers stone counter, drawer dishwasher, smooth top stove w/built-in microwave,disposal. Designer back splash.Bathroom update w/new...
Least expensive ocean front property at Folly...kitchen renovation offers stone counter, drawer dishwasher, smooth top stove w/built-in microwave,disposal. Designer back splash.Bathroom update w/new...
$ 369,000
Price Drop
(-7.37%)
Golf

2276 Shipwatch, Kiawah Island, SC, 29455

2 Beds 2 Baths 1100 Sqft
Beautifully renovated, remodeled and decorated second floor, two bedroom villa set amidst a lush natural park-like setting, steps to the ocean. Gleaming hardwood flooring, custom cabinetry and light...
Beautifully renovated, remodeled and decorated second floor, two bedroom villa set amidst a lush natural park-like setting, steps to the ocean. Gleaming hardwood flooring, custom cabinetry and light...
$ 489,999

87 East Bay, Charleston, SC, 29401

3 Beds 3 Baths 2268 Sqft
The James Gordon House. Circa 1792. Fabulous renovated condominium is in grand Eighteenth Century residence. Entry hall elevator or stairway takes you to second floor where you will find gracious,...
The James Gordon House. Circa 1792. Fabulous renovated condominium is in grand Eighteenth Century residence. Entry hall elevator or stairway takes you to second floor where you will find gracious,...
$ 1,950,000

175 Concord Street, Charleston, SC, 29401

2 Beds 2 Baths 1615 Sqft
This is the one you have been looking for. 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bath, luxury finishes, 3rd floor which is 4 floors above the ground, over looking Charleston Harbor in the heart of the French Quarter. Open...
This is the one you have been looking for. 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bath, luxury finishes, 3rd floor which is 4 floors above the ground, over looking Charleston Harbor in the heart of the French Quarter. Open...
$ 1,395,000
Golf

1504 Strathene, Mount Pleasant, SC, 29466

2 Beds 2 Baths 2020 Sqft
Find the lifestyle you are looking for at The Retreat at Charleston National. This gorgeous well appointed townhome is turn-key ready and located in Charleston National! Perfect for a primary...
Find the lifestyle you are looking for at The Retreat at Charleston National. This gorgeous well appointed townhome is turn-key ready and located in Charleston National! Perfect for a primary...
$ 389,000
Price Drop
(-2.09%)

200 River Landing, Daniel Island, SC, 29492

3 Beds 2 Baths 1638 Sqft
River Landing is a prime location within Daniel Island and the closest residential address to all the dining, shopping, drinking, entertainment and other resort-style amenities Daniel Island offers...
River Landing is a prime location within Daniel Island and the closest residential address to all the dining, shopping, drinking, entertainment and other resort-style amenities Daniel Island offers...
$ 469,000
Golf

5106 Sea Forest Drive, Kiawah Island, SC, 29455

2 Beds 2 Baths 1157 Sqft
Beautifully, updated, two bedroom/two bath villa with fabulous long, forever views down Kiawah Islands pristine 10 mile beach. Kitchen and baths have granite countertops. Light, bright, open...
Beautifully, updated, two bedroom/two bath villa with fabulous long, forever views down Kiawah Islands pristine 10 mile beach. Kitchen and baths have granite countertops. Light, bright, open...
$ 779,000
Golf

1109 Ocean, Isle of Palms, SC, 29451

3 Beds 3 Baths 2139 Sqft
This beautiful, one level condo is located in the peaceful and secluded, gated Ocean Club community and offers beautiful, multi faceted views of the ocean, golf course and community pool. An ideal...
This beautiful, one level condo is located in the peaceful and secluded, gated Ocean Club community and offers beautiful, multi faceted views of the ocean, golf course and community pool. An ideal...
$ 1,100,000
Golf

4755 Tennis Club, Kiawah Island, SC, 29455

2 Beds 2 Baths 942 Sqft
STUNNING LAGOON VIEWS...... Watch nature at its best out of this charming two bedroom, two bathroom villa. Your views are captured in the Kitchen, dining room, living room, screened porch and master...
STUNNING LAGOON VIEWS...... Watch nature at its best out of this charming two bedroom, two bathroom villa. Your views are captured in the Kitchen, dining room, living room, screened porch and master...
$ 449,000
Golf

4209 Ocean, Isle of Palms, SC, 29451

3 Beds 3 Baths 2257 Sqft
The nicest available unit in Ocean Club with spectacular views of Dewees Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean. The Prestigious Ocean Club features underground parking, elevator service, private pool and...
The nicest available unit in Ocean Club with spectacular views of Dewees Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean. The Prestigious Ocean Club features underground parking, elevator service, private pool and...
$ 1,300,000

 

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