Condo living may be too close for comfort

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If you are a prospective buyer of a condo, co-op, or townhouse, first read "Condos, Co-ops, and Townhomes" by Mark B. Weiss. Written by a long-time real estate broker and a converter of condominiums, this book reveals the pros and cons of this specialized type of housing. Although the author explains some of the negatives of condos and cooperative apartments, as well as townhouses, his bias toward these homes shows clearly. Occasionally, he lapses into sharing the downside of living in a "mini-democracy" where the homeowner's association board of directors decides policy. But his emphasis is on the attributes for this lifestyle of living very close to your neighbors. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Throughout the book, Weiss extols the positive side of condos while minimizing the possible pitfalls of bad condos. However, his explanation of cooperative apartment pros and cons is very limited, perhaps because there aren't many co-ops left because of the difficulties financing the...