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Terms for Condos Not So Endearing to All

May 25, 1986

I thoroughly enjoyed Ruth Ryon's article, "A Condo Is Still a Condo" (May 18), but it still prolongs a decade-plus of confusion I, and others, have fought against and lost.

Anytime anyone uses the word condominium to describe a product, we run into trouble. The article stated that "the town house and villa are both forms of condominiums"--not necessarily.

In many planned unit developments in California, both of those forms of housing have been sold with the land under them deeded to the owner. The word condominium describes a form of real estate ownership, and whenever anyone tries to use it to describe the product, we only continue to confuse the public.

Many products called condominiums, can be detached as well as attached. As noted, definitions are varied on many product forms and builders, and their marketing advisers are rarely consistent in their descriptive material.

For home shoppers, price and location often overcome denser forms of housing, when they might actually prefer something detached, but describing it as a condominium most often hurts, rather than aids, the sale. In addition, there is no guarantee they will know what it looks like until they arrive at the site.

LESTER GOODMAN

Irvine

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