In a seller’s market with low inventory, some buyers are looking at a wider array of housing options. Here we evaluate the pros and cons of owning a condo to help buyers decide if it may be a good option for them. Considering a condo can increase your selection of properties to choose from.
What is a Condo?
A condominium (or condo) is a privately owned individual unit within a community of other units. Common areas, such as pools, garages, clubhouses, and outside hallways are jointly owned. The difference between an apartment and a condo is that you can only rent an apartment. However, you can own a condo. Like apartments, condos share walls, but in rare cases, some are fully detached. Below, we compare the pros and cons of owning a condo.
Cons of Owning a Condo
- The HOA: Some HOAs help get things done and keep maintenance worries away. However, HOA fees can be expensive and you are required to pay the fees even if you don’t use all the amenities.
- CC&Rs: These are the rules that govern a condo community. Some make sense and maintain community value, whereas many can severely restrict how you enjoy the property that you own. Also, when you break them, say hello to fines and fees.
- Assessments & Delinquency: If a sudden cost comes up that the HOA reserve cannot cover, the costs will be split between the owners as an assessment. Also, if one condo owner fails to pay their dues, it can increase the dues for everyone else to cover for them.
- Investment Risk: If one condo forecloses or short-sells, it can influence your condo’s value. Additionally, some condo communities have rules about how many can be rented at once, so you may be limited as to whether you can rent it out or not.
Pros of Owning a Condo
- Less Maintenance: You don’t have to worry about fixing your roof or mowing your lawn on a weekend. This is why small busy families and older buyers may find the option more attractive than some.
- More Affordable: You can have just as many rooms and bathrooms as detached homes, but the compact nature of condos tends to make the price tag lower. They can make an excellent starter home for this reason.
- Better Location: Due to lower costs, you may be able to live in a better location than if you were only open to purchasing a single-family home. Condos also tend to be close to premium downtown areas.
- Great Amenities: Most homeowners can’t afford a pool or gym, or they don’t want the work the upkeep requires. With a condo, owners usually have more perks like the aforementioned, and dog parks, clubhouses, business centers, etc.
- More Security: Many condos are gated or have some form of security staff. You also have the close proximity of your neighbors.
Consider the market, your lifestyle, and what you want from your property when looking at whether or not to purchase a condo. If you’d like to learn more or begin your home buying or selling journey, reach out to us at (877) 699-0353.