Are you interested in buying a condo? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Buying a condo is somewhat like buying a single-family house, but there are some differences you should be aware of. There are many pros and some cons to buying a condo and it’s important to be fully aware of every angle before making a decision. So, if you or someone you know is looking to make a condo their new home, read on for much more information.
What is a Condo?
In simplistic terms, think of a condo as an apartment you own. In those instances, residents often share walls with their next-door neighbors. Condos have common areas like many apartment complexes, but with a condo, the common areas are jointly owned by other condo residents.
It should be noted that there are some condos that are detached units.
Are Condos Worth Buying?
Condos offer many buyers an opportunity to live in a location they might not otherwise be able to without sacrificing convenience or their preferred lifestyle in favor of homeownership. Owning a condo can be a viable alternative to renting an apartment, especially considering that as a condo owner, you can build equity and often take advantage of tax deductions on the mortgage interest.
Another unique feature of condo living is that most condos will have a governing board that oversees how the condominium community operates and is maintained. These associations manage the complex and handle any rules or guidelines for the community. They are also responsible for the upkeep of the common areas that are owned by all the residents of the building.
Pros of Buying a Condo
If you are partial to apartment living due to the amenities and the sense of community you can build, but you are also interested in building for your financial future, condo life may be the right choice for you. When you buy a condo, you can build equity. Home equity is the financial portion of the home the owner truly owns. Equity can increase over time as you pay down your mortgage. Equity can also increase if the property value rises. Then, if you decide to sell the condo, you can use the equity you’ve built to help you buy your new home.
Condos tend to be less expensive than their single-family house counterparts, and they can provide homeownership opportunities for more buyers.
Many condos are built in popular, high-demand areas and downtowns, so if you want to be in the heart of a city or within walking distance to many different amenities, a condo might be a good option.
Many condos offer security features such as a call box, doorman, or guard service. Living among a group of neighbors also provides a sense of security when you are away from your condo.
Unlike an apartment, if you own a condo, it’s yours. You can make home improvements you like to your unit. Want to redo the kitchen or a bathroom? You can do it. Want to paint a bedroom? You can do it. You aren’t beholden to whether the apartment management company wants to make improvements or not.
If you’re not inclined to do yard work or handy with tools, a condo may be for you. Many condo complexes hire professionals to maintain the exterior and the common areas.
As a condo owner, you are co-owner of any common areas that the condo building has to offer. Many buildings offer tennis courts, swimming pools, a gym, a theater room, and other amenities that you might not be able to afford on your own.
- No Land Ownership
When you buy a condo, you won’t own the land beneath it. Instead, you share an interest in it with the other condominium residents. When you buy a house, you are also buying the land the house sits on. Depending on your preference, this might mean spending less over time on home maintenance.
The common areas of a condo building are certainly nice, but it costs money to maintain them. As a condominium resident, you will likely be required to pay a monthly fee that goes towards the maintenance and repair of the common areas. There may also be an additional fee tacked on for any larger repairs and renovations to those areas as well, but you will also get to enjoy these amenity upgrades.
3. Community Association Rules
Since you’ll be living in a community with a community board or association that helps to govern it, you will have to abide by the rules of the condo. Rules may include whether you can have pets, what types of pets you may have, how and when the shared facilities may be used, and rules about visitors or guests among others. You may also elect to participate in your community board or association.
Depending on the location, a condo may come with limited (if any) parking options. Some condos only allow one assigned parking space per unit, which could be an issue if your family has more than one car.
Given that condos are typically smaller than houses, you will likely have much less space for storing items in a condo compared to a house. Some condo units come with a designated storage space, but those spaces may be small and not able to hold larger items.
When it comes to buying a condo, you should be aware that there are some differences between condos and single-family houses when it comes to the mortgage process.
Compared to a loan for a single-family house, a condo loan may have a few additional considerations. If you’re ready to buy a condo, be sure to work with a dedicated team for condo approvals.