Some house hunters are anxious about the idea of maintaining a home and a garden. Many properties require minimal upkeep and cost a fraction of the price. A condominium is one of these options.
What is a condo? Is it worth buying one? This primer will help you decide whether condo living is right for you.
What is a condominium?
A condominium is a private unit that is part of a larger community. Condo owners share common areas such as garages, elevators, outside hallways, and gyms. Condos are typically found in high-rise buildings but you may find detached condos in certain markets.
Holly Leonard, an Atlanta real estate agent, says that a homeowners association manages common areas and oversees any covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs), that apply to the property. “Condominiums can be referred to as a “common interest development.”
Why purchase a condo?
Many buyers find the answer to this question simple. Condo developments are easy to maintain. A professional management company handles all the rest. There is no grass to mow, flowerbeds, or driveways to clear of snow.
The price tag is another important aspect. The price tag is another important aspect. Condos are historically more affordable than single-family houses, and this trend continues today. According to Black Knight data, condos appreciated at a slower rate than single-family homes in 2020. They also sold for around 17 percent less which represents a savings of approximately $58,000, realty brokerage Redfin reports.
Condos are usually cheaper than their taxes. A smaller area means a lower bill from the county.
Community life is something that single-family homes don’t often offer, with shared spaces, amenities, events, and so on. It is much easier to travel and live in another area, or simply for a season. You can rest assured that everything will be taken care of.
Consider these factors before buying a condo
What’s the difference between an apartment or a condo?
Although condos and apartments may look similar structurally, the main difference between condos and apartments is that you own a condo while renting an apartment. You can purchase an apartment in some markets, such as New York City.
These types of dwellings usually have multiple floors or units and share common amenities such as a pool, gym, and parking. Condo owners may also be able to rent their units out to tenants in some communities.
What’s the difference between a condominium and a house?
A condo is your home. However, it’s and not a house. This distinction is important, especially when it comes down to maintenance.
If you own a single-family detached house, and your roof needs to be fixed, think about what it would look like. This expense would be entirely on the homeowner’s shoulders. You would be responsible for the entire cost if you own a condo. Some of it could be shared with other owners, while some might be paid by the homeowners association reserves.
While sharing expenses can be beneficial, it is important to remember that condo owners must adhere to additional rules and community restrictions. There may be aesthetic requirements, such as the requirement to have all units install the same windows. You might not be able to make the final decisions regarding your condo. However, with a house, you will have more control.
Do I need to rent or buy a condo?
This question will be answered primarily by your finances. John Ameralis, an agent licensed by Compass in New York City, said that you will need to have a substantial amount of money to pay a down payment and cover closing costs.
A condo rental can be a great way to get to know a specific building or an area before you commit to long-term ownership.
Leonard states that renting allows individuals to live in tulum luxury condos for sale and decide if they are interested in investing in them.
Living in a condo: The pros and cons
It is important to weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a condo. This will ensure that your decision fits your budget and lifestyle. These are the top considerations.
- Low-maintenance living: Since most of the exterior maintenance for condos is done by the HOA, Ameralis states that “condos work best for buyers who don’t want to take on the additional responsibility (responsibility),” such as maintaining their lawn or fixing a leaky roof.
- Security: Condo communities may have security personnel, making it more difficult for people to get in from the outside than single-family or townhome homes. Leonard states that condo living is safer for singles. You might find secure entrances, parking, a concierge, or a doorman depending on your building. Other amenities that enhance safety and security are also available. If you travel often or work irregular hours, this can be an additional perk.
- Social opportunities: HOAs often organize events such as pool parties, barbecues, and dog playdates. You are more likely to get to know your neighbors by just passing them by, which makes it easier for you to meet them in person. Leonard states that condos can be a great place for people to meet because they are close to their neighbors. This can create a sense of community.
- Accessibility: Condos are more affordable than single-family homes because they require less land and are smaller. You will also find lower property taxes. Condos are great starter homes for first-time buyers. They don’t require the maintenance and upkeep of a detached house, but they can still provide the benefits of ownership as well as building equity.
- Amenities You may have access, depending on your condo community, to top-notch amenities such as a grilling area or business center, pool and dog park, covered parking, and a clubhouse. The cost of these amenities is shared by all residents.
- HOA Rules: The biggest complaint about condo living is the restrictive HOA rules. These rules govern everything, from noise and trash pickup to pet ownership and what items can be kept on your patio. Leonard recommends that you read the HOA bylaws and covenants before purchasing a condo. This is to ensure that your lifestyle and finances are not affected.
- Investment risk: Leonard states that tulum luxury condos for sale are a more risky investment as you share ownership with other owners. Because you live in the same building, it is possible for one person to short-sell or foreclose their condo. This can harm your property value.
- Privacy: Condos are not suitable for those who value privacy. There are also noise issues associated with shared spaces. If your neighbor upstairs wakes up at a strange hour to work, their footsteps could make it difficult for you to get out of bed. A townhouse may be better if you need more privacy or entertainment often.
- Limited outdoor space. Condos maximize real estate by building up. This often results in a lack of green or outdoor space. Leonard says that condos may not be right for you if you need to park your vehicles at home or have a lot of space outdoors for work or pleasure.
- Rising HOA Fees: HOA costs generally increase over time to cover maintenance costs and additional amenities. HOA fees are important to consider when you’re considering buying a home, especially in higher-priced areas. Condo associations may impose special assessments on homeowners to cover unexpected expenses and new amenities.
- Limited rental policies: By purchasing a unit in a shared building you agree to follow the rules. These can restrict how many units can each be rented at one time. Leonard says that many condominiums prohibit owners from renting their units after purchasing.