Have you ever thought about buying a condo? Condo living has many benefits, including lower maintenance costs and access to numerous amenities. Living close to your neighbors and with more regulations may not be the right choice for you. You should carefully consider the pros and cons to buying a condo, as well as how they will fit into your life.
What is a condominium?
A condo is a private residence in a larger community. It’s similar to an apartment except that you own the unit and can customize it. You may find neighbors below, above, or right next to you. You may also have shared amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, or fitness centers.
The pros of buying a condominium
Condos offer many benefits that appeal to a wide variety of homebuyers. Condos give empty-nesters the freedom of travel without worrying about home security. Condos also allow first-time homebuyers to purchase property at a lower price than single-family homes and to build equity.
A single-family home needs a lot of maintenance to keep it looking good. However, a condo has many of these responsibilities. A majority of condos have a homeowners association (HOA), which is responsible for exterior maintenance, such as snow removal and mowing the lawn, as well as upkeep of the roof, exteriors, amenities and shared spaces. This means that you will spend less time and effort to make the property look great.
A report by the National Association of REALTORS(r) found that the average condo price is more than $50,000 cheaper than a single-family home. Condo insurance is usually cheaper than homeowners insurance, as you only pay for coverage for a smaller area and do not need to insure the exterior of your condo.
Having facilities such as a pool or fitness center provides luxury amenities that you might not be able afford in a separate house. These amenities can help you get to know your neighbors and build lasting friendships. Many condo communities host events such as game nights and barbecues that are great ways to socialize.
Condo communities often have a higher level of security than single-family homes. For example, there are security guards on the premises to keep an eye out for emergencies and locked entry gates. Having neighbors nearby can also provide an informal level of security while you are away.
The cons of buying a condominium
While condos may be appealing to some people, they are not the best option for everyone. These are some of the things you should consider before purchasing a condo.
All the benefits of having more amenities and fewer maintenance responsibilities come with a price: fees. A monthly HOA fee will be required to be paid when you purchase a condo. This fee is in addition to your mortgage and insurance. This money is used to maintain the community’s common spaces and exterior. Some amenities may require you to pay an additional fee. You can opt out of certain amenities if you don’t intend to use them.
In addition to the fees, your HOA may have rules that you must follow. These rules will vary from one community to the next. They may include how many visitors you are allowed to have at once, what pets you can have, and how you can decorate an area such as a patio. This can be a bit overwhelming for some potential homebuyers. Before you agree to purchase a condo, review the HOA governing documents and consider how any monthly fees will affect your life.
Lack of privacy
Living in close quarters can mean that you will lose privacy in your condo. You may hear more noise if you share walls with neighbors on either side of your condo. Condo owners may be out or in the hallway at night or early in the morning with their children. Your neighbors might not be open to your entertaining guests or playing music.
If you intend to sell your condo in the future, there may be a small market. A growing family may find the space too restrictive and would prefer a house with a yard. Others may not be comfortable with HOA regulations. It’s a good idea to talk to your agent about the potential resale value of the condo.
Before you purchase a condominium, consider these factors.