Property Sub Type, Structure Type, and Common Interest

The Property Sub Type, Structure Type, and Common Interest fields all work together to ensure the nature of the property and the type of ownership are clear. By defining the overall structure, the part of that structure is being sold, and how ownership is held, we ensure other real estate professionals are clear about the listing. As an example, it is now possible to communicate cases like an SFR with Condominium ownership consistently and clearly.

Combine the three fields to paint a picture of your listings. Examples include:

Property Sub Type Structure Type Common Interest
Condominium Multi Family Condominium
SFR House None
SFR (attached) Duplex Condominium
Townhouse Quadruplex Planned Development

The many possible combinations help ensure you are able to correctly describe the property. The system will automatically warn you when using an invalid combination.

The following Q&A will help to better understand each field:

Common Interest

Q: How do I correctly determine the Common Interest for my listed property?

A: Common Interest describes the type of ownership in the property being offered for sale. It is consistent with the ownership types recognized under California law.

  • None” is used if there is no common interest aspect to the ownership of the listed property.
  • Condominium” should be used when selling a Unit as defined within a condominium plan. The condominium owner received title primarily to a cube of airspace without receiving undivided ownership of any underlying land or structural improvements as part of the individual ownership. In a Condominium, the owner does not hold title to any individual parcel of land. The Property description in the deed usually references a “Unit.”
  • Planned Development” ownership includes an individual interest in a parcel of land, usually a subdivision lot, and the structural improvements situated on the lot plus a common ownership interest in some common area. While a Planned Development (sometimes called a Planned Unit Development) and a Condominium may look similar, the distinguishing characteristic of a PD/PUD is the ownership of an individual parcel of land. The property description in the deed usually references an individual “Lot”.
  • Stock Cooperatives” are owned by a corporation. Instead of buying a unit, buyers into a stock co-op buy shares of stock that give them the right to occupy a particular apartment once they sign an Occupancy Agreement or Proprietary Lease. Because the arrangement is more akin to a landlord-tenant situation, the corporation’s board of directors can screen buyers to determine if they are financially stable enough to buy into the development.
  • Community Apartment” (also known as “own-your-own”) is a development in which members own the entire project in common (including the units) and are given an exclusive right to lease an individual apartment within the building.
  • Time Share” conveys an interest in real property, either perpetual or for a term of years, coupled with a right to use the accommodations.

Structure Type

Q: How do I correctly determine the Structure Type for my listed property?

A: Structure Type is intended to describe what the physical building looks like. This is not necessarily what is being sold, but encompasses the entire building structure for which the sold unit may only be a part.

  • A “Duplex” is any building that contains only two units. (e.g. two attached SFRs.) This is not two separate structures on a lot.
  • A “Triplex” is where the building contains exactly three attached units or SFRs.
  • A “Quadruplex” is where the building contains exactly four attached units or SFRs.
  • A “Multi Family” structure is anything with five or more units.
  • A “House” is a standalone structure with only one kitchen on its own lot.

The key in selecting the proper Structure Type is to focus on what the entire building looks like, and not on ownership interests or use.

Property Sub Type

Q: How do I correctly determine the Property Sub Type for my listed property?

A: The Property Sub Type describes what is being offered for sale. It is the statement indicating what type of property the buyer will own upon close of escrow.

It is typically the word a buyer or seller that is not a real estate professional would use to describe the type of property. This is the description that buyer agents rely upon to determine the properties that meet their particular buyers’ requests. Under the concepts of broker cooperation, listing agents have a duty to properly categorize the Property Subtype so that buyer agents are not tricked into showing a Property Subtype that fails to meet their buyers’ specific instructions. This is also the description that will be sent out to syndication and IDX websites.