According to the Community Associations Institute (CAI) condominiums house over 70 million Americans. Condos represent roughly 2% of the housing stock in the U.S.
Buying a condo can be a viable real estate purchase for you if you know ahead of time what’s involved with owning one. Learn more here on what you should consider before you buy a condo and if it’s the right choice for you.
What Is a “Condo?”
A condo (short for “condominium”) is a residence that looks like an apartment. The difference is that individual condominium units are owned and sold.
Apartments house tenants who pay a monthly rent to live in the units. Condos are less expensive to buy and maintain than single-family houses because there is no land attached to the unit.
Condo landscaping and exteriors are considered a common area That’s why condo owners in a community collectively pay for the improvements and upkeep of these common areas.
Should You Buy a Condo?
The answer to this question is simple: “It depends.” Your lifestyle and financing options available to you will influence this decision. Here’s a breakdown of some of these considerations:
As with any housing purchase, you’ll need a home loan to pay for your condo mortgage. Securing a home loan depends on your specific unit.
For example, condo developments must be included on an approved list to receive an FHA loan. This loan is secured by the Federal Housing Administration.
If buyers want to use a conventional loan, their intended unit undergoes a “limited review” study. This review helps the lender decide if the condo is a safe investment or not.
Living in a condo also means you’ll have more direct opportunities for socializing. Most condo communities have banquet facilities and onsite gyms to replace the lost space for entertaining and exercising you once had in a larger home.
These common areas purposely promote social opportunities for a resident to develop their sense of community and create new friendships. Condos like this location, are in areas that leverage parks, restaurants, or cultural attractions for residents to regularly enjoy with friends.
Home Owner’s Association (HOA) are the fees condo owners pay for services such as pool maintenance or groundskeeping. Other examples of services provided by condo associations include rain gutter cleaning and roof repairs.
Single-family homeowners pay for and do these maintenance tasks themselves. If you’re interested in minimal time commitment or responsibility for these tasks, then a condo arrangement might be right for you.
Unlike private, single-family homes, condo associations have rules that members must follow when they’re at home. For example, some rules specify how many personal vehicles you can park outside your home. Others limit how many party guests you can host at your unit and what time they need to leave.
What’s Your Next Step?
Still, unsure whether you want to buy a condo or not? Consider your future life plans before you answer that question.
Do you have the time and strength to maintain landscaping or home repairs? If not, then owning a condo might be the right choice for you. If you’re recently retired, then condo living might be the best way to meet new friends.
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