As single family home prices have risen, many consumers have been looking to condominiums as an alternative. First time buyers like the lower prices, which makes entry into the real estate ownership market easier. Seniors like the low maintenance aspect and the ability to be in a community catering to their lifestyle. Others like the security advantages that the building provides, especially for those who travel frequently.
When you purchase a condominium, you purchase and have title to your individual unit in a multi-unit property, and share in the ownership of the land and other common property with all the other unit owners. The type of common property varies depending on the type of condominium - high rise or townhouse for example - and would include hallways, elevators, heating system, parking structures, landscaped areas, recreation areas etc.
A condominium is a specific form of ownership and does not describe a type of building.
One of the great advantages to owning a condominium is that in most cases, it is owner-occupied and owner run. Owners ensure their investment is maintained and regard improvements as an investment which increases the value of their individual unit.