Condominium: A system of ownership of individual units in a multi-unit structure, combined with joint ownership of commonly used property (sidewalks, hallways, stairs, etc.).
Simply stated…You own your unit and a percentage of the common areas. An HOA (Home Owners Association) fee is usually collected monthly to cover maintenance costs of the common areas as well as the exterior building. Additional costs, such as all utilities, may also be included. Before purchasing a condo, be sure you understand all costs included in the HOA fees. HOA fees can add up to several hundred dollars a month!
For brief definitions of other terms, visit my Real Estate Glossary.