PUD vs. Condo, what’s the difference? – By Tom Horn, Birmingham Appraisal Blog
If you are in the real estate business you may have heard the terms PUD and Condo, but if you’re not in the business then these words are probably foreign to you. It is not uncommon for the two to be confused with each other but there are major differences between them that we will discuss here, so let’s take a look.
Planned Unit Development (PUD)
The Planned Unit Development, or PUD, is a type of residential development where the homes are usually grouped together on lots that are smaller than typical and where there are large and open park like areas within the development. Ownership is in fee simple, which is similar to most other residential homes that people are familiar with. The common areas that are within the development are owned jointly by all the residents, so if there were 50 homes then each owner would have 1/50th ownership. Another feature is that the land beneath the home is also included in the ownership of the property.
PUD’s have become popular over the years because they can add specific requirements that normal zoning ordinances may not address. Many believe that these more stringent guidelines can help preserve property values in a neighborhood. Advantages of a PUD development includes the ability to include protected natural areas that cannot be developed, such as a park or other green area. Some features also include nature trails or bicycle paths.
A condominium, or condo for short, is a form of ownership where there are separate units that are owned in fee simple. There is an undivided ownership in the common elements, meaning that everyone is part owner but no one owns a certain percentage like in a PUD development. Most people are familiar with condos that look like mid or high rises or apartments, however I have also seen a development where the “unit” is best described as a small manufactured home, so as you can see the type of unit can vary.
Ownership consists of everything within the walls of the unit and any other amenities such as storage closets that may be included. Everything outside of the walls such as hallways, lobbies, exercise rooms, or pools, etc. is owned by everyone in an undivided interest. If the unit is a free standing structure there is no individual ownership in the land beneath it but rather an undivided interest by all owners.