When you are looking to buy a property, you are going to be met with a lot of choices, and it can even be overwhelming. In this guide, we’re looking into condos. This type of living space is very low-maintenance and, for that reason, very popular, so what are the pros and cons of a condo? Is it possible that this could be the right choice for your next move?
What Is A Condo?
Condo is short for condominium. This is a home that someone owns within a building or a community that has a lot of different units. They’re a “sharing” property. Though you have privacy in your own home, there are a number of common areas and shared amenities within most condominium parks or buildings.
Condos might have shared facilities ranging from swimming pools to gardens to utility and laundry rooms. The arrangement is usually that the unit you own is totally private, but there are some shared facilities. This is a balance between having access to all of these facilities but not having to pay for them or arrange the upkeep totally on your own.
All of the facilities don’t tend to be without a responsibility to the condo owners. Instead, you’ll pay towards a homeowners association. The money goes into a pot to pay for things like upgrades and maintenance. This can feel like an annoyance when you pay out every month, sort of like a “rent” even though you’ve already paid for the property, but it has its advantages, too.
The Pros And Cons Of Owning A Condo
All the different types of real estate come with pros and cons. Let’s look at what it is actually like to own a condo and whether the pros and cons make sense for you.
What are the best things about owning a condo?
Condos are often cheaper than a single family home
If you are looking for a way to get into property and find that a single family home is slightly out of your reach then a condo might be the answer. It’s often a more affordable way to buy a home, meaning you are more likely to get a mortgage.
Your home is still your own
The actual home is completely yours in a condo arrangement. You’re free to get quotes from a construction and remodeling company for interior work and to make changes as you see fit in most condo arrangements. You should read the individual contract first, of course.
A lot more maintenance is taken care of
If you are the sort of person who doesn’t like yardwork or maintaining the outside of your building, this can be a really huge advantage. By paying your rates to the homeowners association, you can make sure that all of this is done. Some condo owners get the benefit of a pool (albeit shared) without ever having to get any maintenance companies in to make changes. As well as the outdoor spaces, a lot of condos include things like a yearly furnace check or AC maintenance, which takes the hassle out of having to organize it yourself. You’ll pay for this indirectly via the HOA, but it is still nice to know it’s happening!
You get to live as part of a community
For many people, the appeal of condo life is also community life. Because you are sharing the same grands, and often the same yard and facilities, it means that you will be encouraged to mix with the people in your community, too. This can also have security benefits as people may keep an eye out for one anothers properties.
There are some negatives to think about, too.
The value might not increase as much as other property types
If you buy a family house that isn’t a condo, there is more of a chance of the price increasing, and when you sell it, you can take advantage of this by bringing in more money.
You have to pay into the HOA
Of course, this is one of the bigger cons of owning a condo, and you need to think about it thoroughly before you buy a condo, because when you are budgeting you don’t want to ignore this expense. The HOA is not just a tax on owning the property, it means that everything should be well maintained and sometimes the money can mean upgrades to the facilities.
You have to share facilities
This is a small price to pay if the facilities are good. For instance, a lot of people could never dream of owning a pool, but in a condo environment they get access to one, even if they do have to share it. Laundry rooms and other facilities can be a bit more frustrating if you need to share them and have to wait your turn.
You don’t make as many decisions
The HOA will make a lot of decisions about maintaining and upgrading the grounds. You can usually decide what goes on within your home, but it is down to the homeowners association to make sure the whole complex looks good. In a lot of condos, there are HOA rules, and this means that you have to stick within certain restrictions. It can be off putting to people who don’t want to be told what they can and can’t do.
The Bottom Line On Condo Ownership
Condo ownership represents a very good option for a lot of people. If you’re the sort of person who finds maintaining the outside of a home rustrating, or you don’t quite have the budget for a full family home, a condominium provides a great middle ground.
Of course, every condo is different. It’s vital that you take some time to check the area and ensure that the community is one you’ll be happy in before you take the plunge and buy a condo.