For many, condos represent a great opportunity to have their own slice of the “American dream,” without all of the potential hassles associated with owning a home. However, there are also a number of possible disadvantages that come along with purchasing a condo. When one decides whether or not to purchase a condo, it is a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. Do you prefer the privacy of a home or does the idea of community living and the opportunity to be involved in a condo association thrill you? This is one of many scenarios we will review.
Condos come in as many flavors as traditional homes do. Condos can be built as single level, low-rise, or high-rise units and your personal preferences should be taken into consideration when looking at various condo units. Basic ground maintenance such as lawn mowing and snow removal is taken care of, saving you time and backaches. Other condos feature extra amenities such as a clubhouse, pool, and more. It’s important that you choose a condo that features the services important to you and your family. The flipside of association fees: They cover grounds maintenance and the extra $60, $80 or more that you will have to spend monthly to cover this fee could go towards purchasing a larger single family home. Further, the association fee can go up over time and is not tax deductible like your mortgage. It’s a good idea to get a copy of the home owner association’s meeting minutes and information on the reserve funds available. You don’t want to have to shell out an extra $300 to cover a new roof because the reserve fund was deficient do you? Plus, a thorough review of the meeting minutes will uncover any potential issues taking place among tenants. Lastly, it’s important to ensure the condo is professionally managed. Talking with your realtor and current tenants about their experiences with the maintenance will give you the quick and necessary insight you’ll need to make an informed purchase decision.
When purchasing a condo, it’s important to remember that it is very similar to purchasing a home in the sense that you should plan on living there at least a few years to recoup any closing costs and build some equity. Again, this is based on the assumption that your property will appreciate. This point brings us to the importance of location; I can’t stress enough the importance of finding a condo in a good area. If a train buzzes by every five minutes, it may not be as easy as you thought to sell your unit when it comes time to do so. If your local real estate market tanks, condos tend to be the first units that won’t sell well, as single home prices drop and those previously considering condo ownership may decide to purchase a single family home instead.
Condo ownership is a great option for many people, whether one is a first time homebuyer, a retiree looking for a maintenance-free lifestyle, or anyone in between. Weighing the pros and cons of owning a condo is extremely important and will prove beneficial in the long run. It’s important that you take the time to conduct the necessary research and review the sales agreement and condo association bylaws in depth. Doing so before you sign the dotted line could save you a number of headaches in the future. I have provided links below to some hand selected web sites that should be of great assistance to those interested in purchasing a condo. Happy condo hunting and good luck on your venture towards homeownership!
Pros and Cons of Condominium Living: http://www.lendingtree.com/smartborrower/Finding-the-right-home/Pros-and-cons-of-condominium-living.aspx
How to Buy a Condominium: http://www.ehow.com/how_111174_buy-condominium.html
Buying a Condo, Townhouse, or Cooperative: http://homebuying.about.com/od/buyingacondo/
The Disadvantages of Condominium Ownership: http://realtytimes.com/rtcpages/20000614_cododisad.htm