Condos: the good, the bad, the ugly

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If you want to avoid costly mistakes when buying a condo, co-op or townhouse, "Tips and Traps When Buying a Condo, Co-op, or Townhouse, Second Edition" by Robert Irwin explains virtually all the potential pitfalls and how to avoid them. This easy-reading book is filled with many examples from the author's experiences with these unique types of housing, which require more than just casual investigation. Irwin explains both the advantages and disadvantages of what he calls "shared ownership properties." But don't be misled. He does not even mention the popular "tenant in common" (TIC) residences that have become popular in several cities to avoid the legal aspects of condominiums. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Although the book's emphasis is on the negatives of condos and co-ops, as it should be, the author occasionally discusses the benefits of this special type of housing. But he spends much of the book warning what to look for and avoid in apartment buildings that have been co...