A condominium or townhome complex can look like an apartment building or even a larger estate home. The difference is the individual units found inside the walls of these larger structures are segemented into individual homes or units and are sold individually/ As the owner of the home, you agree to be a member of the homeowners association, which provides maintenance for the common areas and the structure itself. This usually includes commonly shared open spaces, pools, roofs, staircases, balconies, etc.
There was a humorous X-Files episode about a homeowners association for a planned unit development in which folks pay, shall we say, the “ultimate price” for painting their mailboxes the wrong color. Most associations are somewhat less… intense, and while they do plenty for you – fix the roof, paint the outside of the structure and mow the lawn – they don’t do everything. The stuff inside your home is your responsibility. While their roof may leak, it’s your sink that leaks and your carpet that needs replacing. Additionally, the homeowners association provides insurance for the entire structure and liability insurance for the common areas. Usually the CCR’s or the Covenants, Conditions and Requirements recorded with the project address each project specifically.