We all find ourselves faced with real estate purchase issues at different points in our lives. We have different goals, budgets, and ideas about what the perfect property should look like. But there is one thing that remains common for all of us. And it is the choice between a home and a condo. Regardless of your circumstances and the area you are considering, there are certain benefits that all condo owners share.
Why buy a condo?
Before we dive into the matter of the pros and cons of a condo, let’s determine what condos are. Being a mix between a home and an apartment, condos are a perfect middle-ground for people who are looking for a lot of space but are not ready to get a home of their own yet. What makes condos similar to apartments, on the other hand, is the fact that they may be adjacent to other condos or homes. This means that you will have your neighbors closer than if you had chosen to buy a single-family home, but will not have a lawn to mow and a garden with overgrowing plants and grass that is taller than community rules allow.
As you can already see there are two sides to owning a condo. Just like it is with almost everything else in life. Let’s take a closer look at both pros cons of condos.
If you have been wondering whether owning a condo is a good investment, then the answer is that it is the best option for people on a tighter budget. Condos often cost significantly less than single-family homes. This is why if you are only beginning to investigate the world of real estate investments and its rules, a condo is a great way to start.
However, the price you pay for your condo is not the only thing you have to account for when making a decision. We are talking about the HOA fees, of course. Whether you have decided to live a prestigious area or in a more accessible, HOA fees can fall within a range between $100 and more than $1,000 a month. These payments depend on the range of luxurious amenities. They include gyms, saunas, and round-the-clock security that the building has to offer. Regular HOA fees are usually paid once a month, which makes it seem like it is an easily-manageable and planned expense. And they also go towards the development’s reserves. The catch with them is that in case something breaks and needs urgent fixing and the reserve cannot cover that, you will have to pay extra regardless of whether it is your fault or not. After all, you are living in a tightly-knit neigborhood and have to have your contribution.
While we are on the subject of HOA fees, it is worth it to note that condo ownership pros and cons are not limited to just the money issues but are mostly about that. While you do not have to worry about such things as occasional exterior repairs and other maintenance needs that in the case of single-family homes are entirely your obligation, it is a good idea to learn as much as possible about the Home Owner’s Association before you make the condo purchase. A well-run condo HOA will save you a lot of money and help you enjoy all the pros of a condo lifestyle.
As we mentioned earlier, in case of any issues with the property, such as plumbing or air conditioning, for example, condo owners might have to pay extra on top of their existing HOA fees. This could turn into unexpected, unplanned, and expensive spending which is often referred to as an assessment. These are fees that condo residents have to pay in situations when there are not enough funds to cover the repair costs in the development’s reserves and they are unfortunately unavoidable.
Community of neighbors and city life
At this point, you might be asking yourself: why buy a condo at all then? Well, condos provide urban advantages that single-family homes simply can’t. Condo complexes are usually located in the affluent and vibrant city areas, which makes them a perfect option for those of us who don’t like long work commutes or simply prefer to walk to major entertainment, shopping, and dining spots. Additionally, you will always have something to do within the condo residents club as well because there will always be numerous activities that keep homeowners engaged.
Community of neighbors and city life
While there are certain perks of city condo living, there are also some downsides that might make you think twice. Living in a condo will most likely put you amidst the hustle and bustle of a city as well as a bit too close to your next-door neighbors. Most likely you will be seeing and hearing more of your neighbors than you would wish to.
Security and rules
Condo communities often feature security professionals and doorkeepers who ensure the safety of all residents. This reduces the risk of break-ins as well as provides a sense of security that is necessary for people who live alone. And we should not forget that the pros and cons list for owning a condo includes living side by side with other people, which creates a self-policing environment of its own.
While HOAs are there to ensure your comfort and safety, they also require to abide by their rules in order to fulfill those safety and comfort requirements. From ‘quiet times’ to limits regarding the number of guests or pets, HOAs are working hard to ensure they can provide maximum comfort for everyone in the neighborhood.
Whether you have already made up your mind about buying a condo or not, it is essential to pay attention to the key factors that are very likely to affect your overall satisfaction with your choice as well as turn your condo into a good investment in the long run.