Are You Considering Buying A Condo? Check Out These Pros and Cons Before Making Your Decision
If you are thinking about purchasing a home, you might have given some thought to buying a condo. As with any other type of property purchase, there are certain things to consider. If you are thinking about buying a condominium here are some pros and cons to weigh up.
Just What Is A Condo?
You might be wondering what a condo is. The easiest way to describe it is a cross between a house and an apartment. It has many aspects of living in an apartment, living side by side to neighbors, e.g. above, below or at the side of someone else’s condo. At the same time, a condominium is generally larger than an apartment, offering more along the same size space as a house.
There are many people who love life in condominiums, but on saying this, some prefer the benefits a house brings, more so if the house is detached.
Now that this is clear, we can take a look at the pros and cons that come with condominium buying vs the pros and cons of buying a house.
No Lawn Mowing vs Underfunded Association
Pro – No Lawn to Mow
One of the big pros of choosing a condo as opposed to a house is that there is no lawn to mow. Maintenance needs around the condominium, such as for an outdoor-shared garden, pool or gym, will be accounted for by the condominium association who takes care of it.
John Goodman from John Goodman PR revealed that he had not had to mow a lawn for the twelve years he had lived in the condo, nor move snow to get the car out of the drive. He had previously lived in a house and believes making the move to a condominium was the best choice he has ever made.
Con – Underfunded Condo Associations
One essential thing to bear in mind when considering purchasing a condo is an underfunded association. The association will pay for the upkeep of everything outside of the condominium. It is essential the association is managed and run well. Underfunding may occur if members struggle to pay fees and you might feel the impact. Ask questions such as the number of condos an association looks after.
The Condo is Cheaper vs Cost of Condo is Not All You Have to Pay
Pro – Buying a Condo Is Cheaper Than a Comparable House
Purchasing a condo is generally cheaper than buying a house of comparable size. Generally, a detached single-family home is going to appreciate faster than a condominium. Of course, the size is going to factor in, along with neighborhood property values.
Houses many appreciate faster than a condominium but recent research suggested the market values of condos have climbed during February 2012 to 2017. Detached single family homes within the same period appreciated by 27.9%.
Con – The Condo is Not the Only Outlay
When considering buying a condo bear in mind the outlay on the actual condominium is not the only thing you will have to pay for. Association fees are paid monthly and these have to be taken into account. Depending on the location in which you buy, the fees could be anything from as little as $100 per month, up to $1,000 or higher. You also have to weigh up the fact that these fees pay towards amenities you can use such as gym and pool. With a house, you would have to pay someone fees to maintain your pool.
The owners of JonathonLittlePoker.com, Jonathon Little is the owner of two condominiums, which he rents out. He said he thought it was a good idea to purchase condos to avoid having to pay out to maintain a house. However, the association charges him $250 per month and he thought this was overpriced.
He warns people should be aware that the fees to the association only cover things outside of the condo. This means the condominium owner is responsible for everything that goes wrong inside, such as broken plumbing or heating. Sometimes if the association is underfunded, as mentioned above, and there is an emergency repair on the exterior, the association may ask owners to pay an assessment. This ranges from dollars to thousands of dollars. He also warned condominiums might be more difficult to sell than a house, more so if neighbors in the building have theirs up for sale too. Of course, houses come with costs attached too for repairs, so this also needs weighing up.
The Sense of Community Spirit vs Living Close to Neighbors
Pro – The Condo Offers Community Spirit
Condo owners live in very close proximity to each other, more so than in a house, unless the house is attached of course. Even in attached houses, there is generally a garden or yard separating them. Therefore owners of condo`s often have more of a sense of the community spirit.
eVestement.com website owner Mark Scott said purchasing a condominium actually made him come out of his shell and be more social with neighbors. He pointed out that in a house you come home from work and do not venture out to talk with neighbors until you go out the next morning to go to work again.
Living in a condominium environment is different as you pass neighbors in the hallway, elevator, see them at the pool or gym. Condo living also encourages fitness as you can use the gym in the building, condos are also usually located close to restaurants, bars, and parks.
Con – Living Close to Neighbors You Cannot Pick
It is all well and good having neighbors close to you, but you cannot pick those neighbors. With a house, you have the yard or garden separating you, not so with the condominium. There is always going to be someone you cannot get along with but you still have to live in close by the neighbors side and meet these people, perhaps on a daily basis.
Scott pointed out there may be someone who owns dogs that behave badly in your building. If you want to avoid the person with the badly behaved dogs, it may mean hanging around for the next elevator if that person takes it.
Even if you get on with neighbors when first moving in, this may change if there are cross words. However, you still have to live side by side with no yard separating you. Things can get uncomfortable in this situation and makes communal living not so appealing.
As you can see there are pros and cons to both purchasing a condo or a house? Ultimately, which one is best for you will come down to many factors, including all of the above. Are you still considering purchasing a condominium?