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With new condos springing up in just about every major city, more and more people are choosing the condo life. And why not?
Condos give people access to housing markets that might not be affordable otherwise. They provide a certain level of convenience that many people look for while searching for a home.
Even if you’re not a first time buyer, choosing a new home can be tough with all the considerations.
A condo could be a good choice for many. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of buying a condo and how Homefinity can help to get you in the right place.
What is a condo?
Short for condominium, a condo is a housing complex made of multiple individual units that are owned by the residents.
The space inside the units is the property of the owner. While all the residents share common areas that may include such amenities as a swimming pool and tennis courts.
The main difference between an apartment and a condo is ownership.
Once a person buys a condo, it is theirs. While rental leases give dwellers a sense of security, when a lease expires, a number of things can happen, including eviction and rent increases.
When you buy a condo, that condo is yours for as long as you choose to keep it.
Because condos are part of a larger housing complex that contains an infrastructure that needs to be maintained — stairs, landscaping, fencing, maybe a pool, maybe a playground — a monthly condo fee is collected.
The condo fee is used to fix and maintain things outside of the resident’s unit. The owner of the unit is responsible for all repairs that are needed within the walls of their home.
Condos are a generally cheaper choice than a single-family home, especially in cities where housing costs continue to rise.
A condo can be a unit in a high-rise building or in a group of townhouses — and everything in between.
How do you know if you’re ready to buy? Check out Homefinity’s guide.
Before buying a condo, it’s essential to learn as much as possible about the complex. Things buyers should be aware about include:
- The financial health of the condo association. A healthy and well-run association will have money set aside to cover major projects without requiring a major contribution from residents.
- The associations’ rules, regulations, and by-laws that must be followed.
- The age of the condo. Older condos tend to require more maintenance, which can add up over the years.
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What are the Pros and Cons of Buying a Condo?
Weighing the pros and cons of any major purchase, particularly a home, is vital. A condo is no exception.
Though it may have an apartment-like feel to it, you will own a condo. It’s important that you consider everything and make sure you’re ready to settle there.
Buying a condo gives owners access to many amenities that they may not be able to afford if they bought a traditional home.
The perks of having access to things like a swimming pool, tennis courts, a gym, gardens, yoga, areas to grill, and spas are hard to pass up for many condo buyers.
Especially since all these perks are within walking distance right out their front door.
Location, location, location — the holy mantra of the real estate business. Condos give buyers flexibility to choose the perfect location for their lifestyle.
Condos allow people to set down roots in areas they might not be able to afford if they bought a single-family home. It gives them access to the schools they want to send their children to, the hip shopping districts within walking distances, and public transportation.
People who love the hustle and bustle of city life and don’t mind sharing a common wall with their neighbors are good candidates for condo living.
Ask anyone about the downside of home ownership and the usual answer will be maintenance. From keeping the grass at a reasonable length or climbing a ladder and scrapping rotted leaves from the gutters, to large projects like roof replacement, windows, and sidewalks, home owners are responsible for the costs and “sweat equity.”
The monthly condo fees, which can range from anywhere from $50 to $1,000 a month, take care of most maintenance, security, and access to amenities.
Condo buyers should be aware that they will be partially on the hook when large projects arise, like replacing the roof or repaving the parking lot. The costs of major projects are divided up among all the condo’s residents.
Most condo complexes have their own security personnel and apparatuses protecting the property. Doormen work in high-rises, cameras keep track of entryways, close-by neighbors and secure fencing all work to give condo-owners a peace of mind.
Unlike renting an apartment, owners are able to change anything they want in their own units. Want to gut the bathroom and install a steam shower? You can go for it as a condo owner.
Living in close proximity to neighbors isn’t for everyone, but in the increasingly isolated world, a condo community is just that: An instant community. It should not be underrated.
A condo will have a limited amount of space. Although most condos come with on-site storage units located outside the home, the relatively small amount of space can be challenging for those who never liked apartment living in the first place.
Lack of privacy
The neighbors on condos are literally right there, either to the side or above and below. Depending on how thick these walls are, things can get noisy.
Condo or HOA Fees
Unlike the monthly condo mortgage, condo fees or Home Association Fees can — and probably will — increase as the years go by. These fees are usually set by the condo’s board, which is made up of residents.
Rules and Regulations
Before making an offer on a condo, it’s good to have a grasp on the rules and regulations that the HOA requires its community to follow. These will be different in, say, a complex dominated by families compared to one filled with retirees.
From pet ownership to things like drying clothes on the balcony, you can be sure there are guidelines.
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Take a look at our guide for those just beginning their journey to home purchase.
Whether you’re buying a condo, a townhouse, or a single-family home, our team of experienced agents have the answers for you. They can provide guidance in whatever way you prefer, whether you need someone there every step of the way or just there when you need them.
Reach out to us today to get started with a dedicated loan officer. Whether you’re purchasing or refinancing, we’ll discuss your needs and provide our recommendations on the most affordable loan for your situation.
Some references sourced within this article have not been prepared by Fairway and are distributed for educational purposes only. The information is not guaranteed to be accurate and may not entirely represent the opinions of Fairway.