I've had several occassions to be involved with condos, I do like commercial office, but not residential.
If you're interested in them I'd suggest you know the market, who owns the developments and the operations.
Construction is usually on the low end, some are built for future maintenance, just like that coffee pot designed to burn out after the warranty ends. The finish work may justify a higher price, you still may hear people upstairs walking across the floor, just like an apt.
They are not as marketable as a SFD. Lack of sales means appriasals are harder to get. Financing can be difficullt and units may not qualify due to the ownership/rent levels, maintenance contracts, or lack of HUD guidelines. Some projects may have high turn over, that can kill financing as well. Less marketable due to financing.
HOA Boards usually lack RE knowledge, many I have seen will have those willing to serve stay on for years and they end up with a sence of ownership as if they own the place and make demands to control on a whim. I've helped replaced two Boards. I've seen "acceptance approval required" in violation of law, they just had no clue.
Doesn't matter how big the project is, you can have these issues, petty restrictions and uneven application of the rules, it may depend who is breaking what rule.
Yes, there can be contract kickbacks for maintenance and repairs, the Board my contract for years of services and the by-laws mat require all owners to agree to some manner, making it impossible to change something under that group of officers.
As William mentioned a review of the by-laws, unless you are aware of the stunts that can be pulled in a corporate board, I suggest you have your attorney review the by-laws. You need to ensure that 3 of 4 officers can't swing a contract or that one officer isn't vested with contracting authority and that the owners can't require a majority vote on any issue. Any significant job, like a roof should be set by bid, etc.
Bottom line, an owner lacks ownership authority and relies on a majority of owners. That puts owners in a political posture as neighbors which can cause friction. 8 or 80, doesn't matter how big a project is, residential condos have issues.
Depends largely on local acceptance and market, some are well run and professional, most in my area are not.
Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy