Is It Right for You? The Pros and Cons of Condo Living

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Are you purchasing your first home or downsizing? Are you wondering about the pros and cons of condo living?

Many people are attracted to condo living because it promises an easier lifestyle. With many maintenance projects managed by someone else, you need only to decorate your unit and enjoy the amenities available.

Yet living in a condominium isn’t all perks. You’ll need to carefully weigh the positives and negatives before making an important decision about your living situation.

Here’s what you need to know.

Pro: Affordability

Many folks look to sell their homes and find that a condo offers a much more affordable option. They may even be able to purchase the condo for cash and have money leftover they can use for their own enjoyment. This is especially welcome during retirement years when you may be looking to travel or take up a new hobby.

Young professionals and first-time homebuyers find condos attractive for the same reason. They have a bit of money saved up and are looking to invest in their first home. Condos are generally more affordable than houses and allow them to invest their monthly living expenses in equity they can eventually cash in on.

Cons: Hidden Fees

It’s important to know that living in a condo will likely come with Homeowner’s Association fees. These often include monthly expenses like taxes, but also cover things such as maintenance and use of amenities. Your HOA fees may also include some utilities.

It’s important to know what is included in your HOA fees before deciding to invest in a condo. You may, for example, still be responsible for paying for your electricity or water bills. Make sure you’re comfortable with what’s included in your monthly payments.

Your HOA fees could also go up if other unit members aren’t paying their fees on time. This is why it’s important to have a real estate lawyer review the financials of your condo association before you invest.

You’ll also want to consider things like condo closing costs, which shouldn’t come as a surprise when you’re almost done with the purchase. Make sure you fully understand them and know what you can afford. 

Pro: Amenities

Some folks, however, find that HOA fees are well worth the investment. They may, for example, be older, and find that having things like landscaping and snow shoveling taken off their plate is a big plus. 

In addition, most associations also include maintenance in the cost of HOA fees. This means that if you have a leaky faucet or a broken fuse box, you need only to call the condo handyman. So you won’t be spending time or money on finding quality repair people on your own.

Other people may prefer a more sociable atmosphere and enjoy having lots of activities available on the premises. There may, for example, be a swimming pool or a fitness center. These can be especially desirable if you were going to pay for these services elsewhere if they weren’t included.

Your condo development may include a game room or areas for private parties. Others boast nearby shopping or even a grocery or coffee shop on the premises.

If having an active lifestyle at home is important to you, there are a lot of benefits that a condo could bring.

Con: Privacy

If you’re used to living in a private home, you may not be ready to experience the closeness that comes with apartment living. 

If your unit is on a lower floor, you will likely hear folks passing by at different hours on their way home. You’ll also be sharing walls and floors, so you may hear neighbors when they get up or do repairs around the house.

While the public spaces in condos such as parks and pools are yours to enjoy, keep in mind that you’ll be sharing them with your neighbors. This type of lifestyle may not be best suited to those who must have absolute privacy whenever possible.

Pro: Security

If you’re going to be living alone, however, you may prefer the type of security that a condo can provide. You may, for example, have a 24-hour security guard on the premises. Such an individual may also be able to give you a lift from your parking space if you get in late at night.

It also gives some comfort knowing that there are other folks within the building they could easily call on if they were ever in need of assistance. Before you invest in a condo, make sure you find out about what security measures are in place.

Con: Smaller Space

If you’re downsizing, a smaller space comes with the territory. Some people enjoy having less to clean or maintain on a regular basis.

However, those who have lived in homes before may find it difficult to live in a smaller space. You may need to give away furniture or put a lot of your off-season things in storage in order to have room for what you’ve got. Make sure you think about where everything will go before you make the move to a condo.

The Pros and Cons of Condo Living

You’ll want to carefully consider the pros and cons of condo living before making this important decision. Make sure you ask all the right questions about fees, house rules, and living space. With a little research, however, you could be enjoying the apartment of your dreams in no time.

Don’t stop getting smart about your home and lifestyle now. For more great advice, read our blog today. 

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