A condominium (“condo”) community may be the perfect home for you and your loved ones in certain situations.
However, the potential costs and constraints of condo living are worth carefully weighing before making the choice. A condo is a unit within a condo complex or building. Each unit is owned by individuals who are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their unit’s interior. The exterior and common areas within a condo building or complex are co-owned by the individuals and managed by the community’s condominium association.
Here’s an overview of the good and bad of buying a condo to help you decide if it’s the best investment.
Pros of Buying a Condo
#1: The Amenities
A condo is a home to consider if you highly value extra bells and whistles. As a condo owner, you may get access to parks, a fitness center, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and more. There may be no need to juggle (or pay for) other recreational memberships outside of what you already have at home.
Condo communities can be gated and may also have security on-site. An extra pair of eyes and ears can be comforting especially in metro areas that have a lot of foot traffic.
#3: Purchase Price/Home Sales Price
The sales price for a condo in the neighborhood where you want to purchase may be more affordable than other home types.
#4: Low-maintenance Living
Condo owners usually have to maintain just what’s within the four walls of their unit. Snow removal, landscaping, and other external repairs are taken care of by the association. The rules for what maintenance the association covers vary from community to community. Be sure you’re clear on what your maintenance responsibilities will be before buying.
Cons of Buying a Condo
#1: Lack of Privacy
A condo building may not work if you’re a private person who wants solitude because you share walls with neighbors. And if you happen to be a social butterfly, condo living may not give you the freedom to have many people over without complaints. Condo communities usually have resident behavior rules you must follow. If these rules sound like an invasion of your personal privacy, a condo community is probably not for you.
#2: The Cost
Amenities, security, and maintenance are convenient, but not free. You have to pay monthly or annual association fees. Condominium fees can also increase on a yearly basis.
#3: Condos Can Be Challenging to Sell
Condos may not be easy to resell even when the sales price is lower than other home alternatives. It’s the pesky Condominium board rules and fees you have to worry about. Even when buyers are interested, lenders may refuse to lend money for a condo purchase if the Condominium is being mismanaged or the fees are too high.
Ultimately, a condo isn’t a purchase you will want to jump into quickly. Reviewing the condominium association rules adds another step to your home buying process. You need to be aware of all big and small Condominium rules beforehand to avoid any surprises.