Last Updated on April 4, 2024

What is a Condominium? | Real Estate Definition

By Alan F Macdonald

What is a Condominium? | Real Estate Definition

What Does Condominium Mean?

A condominium or condo is a designation given to homes that are attached to one another in one or more ways. Condos can be physically connected and/or  legally connected. All condos have fees that go towards certain items such as management, insurance, utilities and maintenance. Each condominium has different items that are covered by these condo fees that are determined by the condominium bylaws and the Condominium Property Act of Alberta.

Real Estate Agent Explains Condominiums

Condos come in many shapes and sizes. Any type of property can be a condo, from single-level apartments to carriage homes, townhouses, duplexes or even detached houses.
What makes a condo a condo is the legal status of the property, not just the arrangement of the living quarters. That is, a condo is not a standalone property; it is connected in one way or another to other properties. This connection might not be physical, but legal. There could be 12 bungalows all separate that are part of a condominium complex that also includes four duplexes and an apartment building. You cannot look at a property and know if it is a condo, you have to check out the paperwork.
Some apartment buildings in Edmonton have been condominiumized, meaning they started out as an investment property, but then were sold off unit by unit to individual owners.

Why Does It Matter?

Condos have their advantages and disadvantages over detached homes, but condos have been much maligned in Canada mostly because of condo fees, which are often misunderstood by the public. The fact is that condos are becoming much more common as house prices increase and the space for single family homes decreases. As Edmonton attempts to increase the density of the city, condo living is likely to become more common as condos provide a more affordable way for buyers to enter the real estate market. While the average house price in Edmonton in 2024 was $407,458, the average condo was $181,347.
Condos provide an extra level of a protection for a homeowner, but also have some restrictions. Every condo is different, so you need to be aware of the condo bylaws – what they allow and what they don’t.