Should you buy a condo or a home? This is a question that many home buyers ask, especially those in urban areas.
Condo sales are rising as home sales fall in some parts of the country. Low inventory is part of the problem, but condos also have a lot to offer.
In some ways, condos are like apartments. Most are adjacent to others, so owners usually live close to each other and share a wall. Condos in high-rise buildings may also have people living above and below them.
Many people love condo living. Others wish they would have bought a home instead. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before committing to buying a condo.
The Pros of Condo Living
Many people love condo living and couldn’t imagine their lives any other way. Some of the main perks to choosing this type of home include:
Cheaper than a Detached Home
Condominiums are generally cheaper than detached single-family homes. The key word here is “generally.” The cost really depends on the property values in the neighborhood and the cost of living in the area.
But even in expensive cities, like Boston and New York City, condos are generally the more affordable option compared to single-family homes.
When purchasing a condo, make sure that you have contingencies in place. “The appraisal contingency means that the lender will hire a third party to evaluate the fair market value of the home. If the appraised value comes in less than the sale price, the buyer can back out of the deal,” claims Jane Fischer & Associates.
No Yard to Maintain
One big advantage to condo living is that there is no yard to maintain. Lawn care and maintenance is funded by the monthly dues paid by residents.
Things like road maintenance, snowplowing and roof repair are also covered by these monthly fees.
When going through a particularly rough time in life, like a divorce, it can be helpful to have those tasks taken care of.
If you’re the type of person who won’t make use of a backyard, then condo living may be a good fit for you.
Sense of Community
Many people love the sense of community that condo living brings. While many homeowners say the same thing about their neighborhoods, condo living takes it to the next level simply because everyone lives in such close proximity.
Neighbors have the opportunity to socialize when taking out the trash or picking up the mail.
The Cons of Condo Living
While there are certainly perks to living in a condo, there are also some drawbacks that need to be considered.
The Cost of the Condo Isn’t the Only Cost
The selling price of the condo isn’t the only cost you have to consider. There are also monthly association fees that need to be paid, and of course, you will also be responsible for maintaining the interior of the condo.
Depending on the location of the condo, you can expect to shell out anywhere between $100 and $1,000 per month in association fees.
Some condo communities have luxury amenities, like swimming pools and gated security. While these are certainly perks, it’s important to understand that these costs are covered by residents through the association fee.
While some people love the sense of community that condos offer, others hate them for this very reason.
With a condo, you share walls with a neighbor, which may be a nightmare if you have bad neighbors. You may just be woken up in the middle of the night by a loud party or TV (depending on how old the building is).
Condos certainly have a lot of perks, but there are some drawbacks that need to be considered before you commit to buying one.