Are you tired of renting apartments but not quite ready to buy a single-family house? Would you like to purchase a home but dread the responsibility of caring for a lawn and handling repairs? Are you interested in sharing common areas and amenities with your neighbors, such as a gym or pool? A condo might be the ideal home for you. But before you commit to the idea, scroll down to review some of the pros and cons of buying a condo.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Condo
You will build equity with a condo, just as you would if you bought a house.
If you’re sick of paying rent and want to build some equity – i.e., the financial portion of the home that you truly own – condo life may be ideal for you. As you pay down your mortgage, you will increase your home equity. Your equity may also rise if the property value of the condo increases. If you eventually decide to sell your condo, the equity you’ve amassed may help you purchase your next home.
Condos tend to be less expensive than single-family houses.
If your budget is tight, you might have better luck with condos than single-family houses. Due to their relative affordability, condos provide homeownership opportunities to families who might otherwise struggle to find a suitable home. This will, of course, depend on the area in which you’re shopping for a home.
Condos are often built in vibrant, downtown neighborhoods.
Not interested in moving to the suburbs? Condos are often built in hip neighborhoods, and many are located in the heart of a city. So if you’ve been an apartment dweller for years now and you’re reluctant to give up the walkability and attractions of a downtown home, a condo might fit the bill.
Condos give you the freedom to renovate and make home improvements.
Because you own a condo, you’re not beholden to your landlord. If you want to revamp the kitchen, go ahead. If you want to paint the bedroom and put up a gallery wall, you can do it. Although there may be limits to what you can do (established by the condo association), you’ll have far more freedom than an apartment dweller.
You won’t be responsible for certain types of home maintenance.
As Money Crashers points out, most condo complexes hire professionals to maintain the landscape and common areas. You won’t have to worry about mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes, or cleaning the pool. This is especially beneficial for homeowners who might otherwise struggle with these chores due to poor health, frequent travel, or a busy work schedule.
You may have access to special amenities and security.
Some condominiums include special common areas and amenities, which you’ll gain access to as a condo owner. For example, you may enjoy a swimming pool, a gym, a tennis court, or a theater room. If you’ve always dreamt of having a home pool, but you can’t afford to buy one for yourself (or you don’t have the time to maintain it), a condo could be the perfect solution. Sometimes these shared amenities contribute to a sense of community as well, as they can help you get to know your neighbors.
Plus, many condos have gated or locked entries, doorkeepers, or even security professionals that keep an eye on the community. This can reduce the risk of a home break-in and give you peace of mind.
You won’t own any land.
If your dream of owning your own home includes land ownership, you won’t be satisfied with a condo. When you buy a condo, you aren’t also purchasing the land beneath it. Instead, you share an interest in the land with the other condo residents. Knowing this, it makes sense that you aren’t expected to mow the lawn!
You must pay fees for maintenance and repairs.
Those special amenities and professional landscapers come at a price! Typically, you will be required to pay a monthly fee that goes toward the maintenance and repair of common areas. Keep in mind that these fees typically increase every year. It’s important that you budget for this extra expense.
In addition, if a sudden expense crops up – for example, if a tree falls on a roof within the community – and your community association isn’t able to cover the cost with the funds it has compiled through monthly fees, you may be legally required to pay an additional fee, along with all the other condo owners, to make up the difference.
You must follow the community association’s rules.
Each condo has a community board or association that helps govern the community as a whole. If you want to live in the community, you have to follow the rules set by this governing body. For example, the rules might prohibit certain pets or establish guidelines for shared amenities. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a con! You might find that you appreciate the association’s commitment to establishing a set of shared rules that help you and your neighbors live in harmony. But a poorly run community association can be an absolute nightmare, impacting your living experience, your finances, and the value of your condo. According to BobVila.com, it’s a good idea to ask the seller or other current owners about the community association’s track record.
You’ll lack privacy.
If you’re seeking peace and quiet, a condo probably isn’t the best choice. You may live above, below, or directly beside other residents. If your neighbors are quiet and kind, this may not be a problem. In fact, it could be a benefit! But your neighbors could also be rowdy, disruptive, or just plain loud. If you don’t want your neighbors to be in such close proximity, a single-family home might be a better choice.
Keep in mind that these are just a few of the pros and cons of buying a condo. If you’re seriously considering moving into a condo, you’ll need to explore the possibility in more detail. Fortunately, whether you decide to purchase a condo or a single-family house, you can rely on the experts at PrimeLending Dallas for a smooth and simple application process. To start exploring your options, please contact us today.