Have you been thinking about buying a condo? Condos are a very popular type of housing in today’s market, and you’ve probably seen several listings if you’ve been house hunting. While condo living is a great choice for many people, you should consider whether or not it’s the right choice for you. Here’s what you need to know about condo life in order to make that decision.
What is a condo?
First of all, let’s define what a condo actually is. In some ways, condos are like apartments. They are both homes within a larger community, except in the case of condos you actually own the home as a private residence. In most condos, you share amenities with your neighbors, such as a pool, fitness center, and the grounds. And unlike apartments, in a condo you pay monthly fees to maintain these amenities.
Benefits of owning a condo
Like anything in life, owning a condo has its pros and cons. Here are some of the benefits you can expect when you live in a condo:
- Less maintenance – When you own a condo, someone else handles the maintenance. This can include taking care of the lawn, removing snow, and making repairs in community spaces. Be aware, however, that you will be responsible for repairs inside your own home in most cases.
- Amenities – Owning a condo often means having access to amenities that you may not be able to afford in a single-family home. Some of the amenities your condo community may have include a pool, gym, media room, or party room. Many condo communities also offer classes and social clubs.
- Security – Condo communities often offer extra security you wouldn’t get in a single-family home, such as a gated entrance and on-site security staff. It can also be reassuring to know that there are many people close by in case of an emergency.
- Location – Condos are often built in prime locations, close to public transportation, restaurants, bars, shopping, and cultural attractions.
- Affordability – In most areas, condos are more affordable than single-family homes. This can be great for first-time homeowners or those looking to downsize.
Disadvantages of owning a condo
While there are many upsides of living the condo life, there are also downsides to consider. These include:
- Lack of privacy – If you are someone who enjoys privacy, then condo living may not be for you. Because of the shared living spaces and close proximity of neighbors, you will often be interacting with other people.
- Fees – Even when you pay off the mortgage for the condo, you will still be on the hook for monthly maintenance fees. These can often range from $100 – $700 per month, depending on your location and the amenities in your community.
- Rules – If you like to do things your own way, then you may not enjoy living in a condo. When you live in a condo community, you are required to follow certain rules and regulations. If you want to make upgrades to your condo, you will likely need permission from the HOA. There may be restrictions on the number and size of pets you can own as well as how many guests you may have.
- Slower appreciation – Finally, if you think of your condo as an investment, be aware that condos are often slower to gain in value than single-family homes.