Tag Archives: Litchfield Beach Condos

Condo or Condotel – What is the Difference?



The word condotel is relatively new to the real estate vocabulary, but it is an important term for buyers to understand if they are interested in purchasing a condo in a resort location. High rise condos overlooking beautiful stretches of coastal shoreline have long been a favorite type of real estate for second homes, vacation getaways, real estate investments, and for those who are looking for a new type of well located, low maintenance, luxury home. The introduction of condotels has created a new dimension to the typical condo that will be explained in this article.

What is a Condotel?

To begin with, we need to understand what a condotel is and how it differs from a standard condo. Sometimes referred to as condo hotels or hotel-condos, this popular new type of real estate consists of high rise condos that are operated and managed as luxury hotels. This means that the condo units are individually owned, but branded together as a Westin, Ritz-Carlton, or other luxury hotel chain.

The typical luxury high rise condominium lacks this same luxury hotel branding and marketing, which sets a condotel apart from standard condos. The hotel works as the management company for the building, scheduling short term or long term stays around the times that you are occupying your condo. In addition, you get all of the luxuries of a world class hotel at home. Room service, gym and spa facilities, and a friendly staff to help answer your questions are just a few of the added perks that are missing from most traditional condo towers.

Advantages of a Condotel Over Condo Ownership

There are many reasons why condo hotels have become so popular over the last few years, especially when compared to a typical condo purchase.

Headache Free Investment Property or Second Home

When it comes to furnishing, maintaining, or renting out your hotel condominium, you are free from the decision making process. The hotel management company maintains the condo as they would any hotel room in one of their prestigious locations. This means that design and décor is kept similar from condo to condo, and the day to day running of the hotel takes the burden of making sure your property is well maintained out of your hands, while ensuring rental income when you are not using the property yourself.

Tax Advantages

Condo-hotel ownership that is not used as a primary residence can have an accelerated depreciation schedule that reduces the 39 year period to 27.5 years, 15, and even as little as 5 years. This accelerated depreciation means significant tax bill reductions in the years it is used. Your accountant will be able to explain how this can be helpful when applied to your specific financial situation and tax expectations.

Disadvantages of a Condotel

There are a few differences potential condotel owners need to know about before they decide to make their purchase. To begin with, many people prefer to add their own personal touches to their second homes and vacation properties. This isn’t possible with a condo hotel because the décor is mandated by the hotel to ensure that rooms are similar in look and amenities across the entire complex. In addition, those owners who would like to spend time in their condotel must make reservations weeks ahead of time for their own properties because the hotel service may book the room far in advance.

Now that you have a better understanding of what condotel means and how they differ from an average condo, you can make the decision as to what type of real estate will work best for you.

Preston Guyton is a professional Realtor® serving the Myrtle Beach real estate market. For more information on Myrtle Beach homes & properties, contact Preston today or visit http://www.prestonguyton.com


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Condo Considerations

Condo Considerations

Condo Considerations

So you’re thinking of buying a condo? Owning a condo is a different world than owning a house, and comes with a whole different set of expectations and responsibilities. Maybe you’re looking to find a vacation property, get out of the suburbs or get away from some of the chores that come with a traditional house – whatever the reason, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of condo ownership before you make that final purchase.

It’s easy to list all the benefits of condo living, so let’s save those for last, as the saving goes. Let’s think drawbacks: first and foremost, purchasing a condo means purchasing the condo – that’s it. No yard, no land, no roof even (well, no individual roof anyway). Just the box itself. Now many people see this as a bonus. Who needs the headache of dragging out the lawn mower every weekend, or having to think about your gutters now that fall is setting in? Hey – I hear you, I’m just saying, it may be an issue for some people.

If you were used to the freedom of home ownership you may be a little taken aback by the fees and rules that come with a condo. Although, if you’re a former house owner, you may welcome the idea of having a set fee schedule instead of sudden surprises (additional expenses may come up from time to time, but these are usually shared between the units unless it’s your fault). Also, having rules (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) means you don’t have to worry about your neighbor deciding to decorate with old appliances instead of patio furniture. Just be sure you are clear on your financial commitment and that you can live with the the particular rules in your development.

Where it can get a little sticky is the shared walls. I mean, this all depends on your neighbors. I wouldn’t advocate moving in next to an amateur tuba enthusiast, for instance, but today’s condos often address sound-proofing. Obviously you want to spend some time in the building you are thinking about living in. It may be worthwhile to make the effort to knock at the suite next door to get a feel for the ‘hood. And if all else fails you can make use of the rules (see the point above).

As a unit owner you are automatically a member of your condo association. Condo associations deal with disputes between unit owners (you and the tuba player for instance) and enforce the bylaws, as well as taking care of maintenance and repairs. You may need to get permission from the association before renting or renovating your condo. Because the condo association also has an elected board, you can get involved in the governance of your development, if that’s your kind of thing.

Well, if you aren’t still aren’t sold on a condo here’s the upside: location, location… oh, you’ve heard this before? Many of today’s hottest developments are centrally located, in the middle of the action. Want to walk to the beach, the office, the golf course? There’s a condo for that. Throw in added amenities that are common selling points in many developments (fitness facilities, hot tubs, multimedia rooms, etc) and your life has become even more convenient. It’s all at your finger tips, with added security and a smaller price tag than your average home.

So put down your rake and your snow shovel and open the door to a new way of life. If you are looking for fewer responsibilities, or just a great vacation spot, condo living could be your solution.

Preston Guyton is a professional Myrtle Beach Area Realtor® dedicated to providing his clients with effective, personalized service. For more information on condos in the Myrtle Beach Area or for help with your real estate needs, visit Preston online at http://www.prestonguyton.com

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What Do Condo HOA Fees Usually Include?

What Do Condo HOA Fees Usually Include?

Garden City Condos

Condos can make for a great low maintenance lifestyle, second home, or investment property. One thing that is important to understand before you make your purchase is the fees associated with owning the property. While every condo is different, let’s take a look at what condo HOA fees usually include, so you have a better idea of what to expect when you make your investment.

What Are HOA Fees?

To begin with, it is important to understand what HOA fees are in the first place. A home owner’s association is a group of local residents that work together to plan neighborhood functions, amenity and communal space upkeep, and amend and enforce condo rules in an effort to maintain the values of all condos in the building. Condo owners are required to pay a portion of the expenses associated with these actions in a monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee.

Common Space Maintenance

When you own a condo you own the space with the walls of your unit. This means that the area between the walls, the lobby, and the exterior of the building is common space that must be kept up for everyone. Depending on your type of condo and location the following list of items is usually included in your HOA fees:

  • Lawn Care
  • Exterior Maintenance and Upkeep
  • Pool maintenance and cleaning
  • Garbage Collection
  • Building Amenities

If your building has a pool or workout facility, then your HOA dues will go towards the maintenance of those and any other amenities the building has to offer, as well as the staff required to oversee or assist during working hours.

Master Insurance Policy

It is important to know that most condo owners are responsible for insuring their personal property and maintaining the space inside the condo, but the HOA fee will cover a master insurance policy for the building. This will include coverage for storm damage, leaking roofs, and liability around the property.

Nontraditional Condo HOA Fees

With the broad range of condos and buildings available to purchase, you will also run across some HOA fees and situations that are atypical, but worth asking questions about.

Condotels – This type of condo is a mix of a hotel and condo, which can commonly be found in popular travel spots along the coast and in big cities. Additional HOA fees are possible because the condo is used as a hotel room when you are not using it yourself. These can be offset by the income of renting out the unit, but it is important to know the details associated with this type of building.

Special Assessments

When you are in the market for a condo and building that has been in existence for a few years you need to ask about any special assessments that may be coming in the future. These are one time HOA fees for large repairs or upgrades that all buildings need at one time or another. The last thing you want to do is buy a condo and find out that a special assessment of several thousand dollars is due.

Always do your research and work with a knowledgeable Realtor when making your condo purchase, so that you know exactly what is covered in the specific condo HOA fees for that building.

Preston Guyton is a professional Realtor serving the Garden City real estate market. For more information on Garden City Beach homes and condos, contact Preston today or visit http://www.PrestonGuyton.com.

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