3 things many condo buyers ignore but shouldn’t

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Q: We've just purchased an apartment in Manhattan -- a condo, not a co-op. We've yet to move in, but just received word from the real estate management company who represents the building that anytime we want to do even a minor repair or alteration (e.g., add a bookshelf, change a tap), we have to give them seven days' notice and pay them $150 for the privilege. Is this common, or is this extortion? It is my place, isn't it? --Rachel A: First, I just want to acknowledge your frustration, Rachel. It is actually very common for condo owners and owners of any unit or property located within a homeowners association (HOA) to have feelings of outrage at the lack of control they have. Unfortunately, there are costs that come as trade-offs for the advantages of living in a shared community, where the homeowners all share the costs of maintaining parts of the building or complex -- and one of those costs is that there are rules and regulations that must be imposed. I wouldn't say ...