Are you thinking about purchasing a condominium unit? There are many pros and cons. For the most part, buyers tend to steer away from condominiums, as the disadvantages typically outweigh any advantages. Read on to find out reasons to buy a condominium, and reasons not to, so that you can make the right decision for you.
Security. Many condos offer gated or locked entries, doormen, or even security professionals for residents. If you live alone, or security is a concern for you, this can be a major perk. In addition, you’re living in close proximity with many other people; in an emergency, you’ll have plenty of people to turn to for help.
Amenities. Many condo communities offer residents amenities that are out of reach for the average homeowner.
Maintenance. One of the biggest benefits to living in a condo is that other people do the maintenance for you. They cut the grass and maintain the grounds, they fix the roof, and there are plenty of workers on hand for when your furnace quits. If you’re a first time homeowner, this is a major benefit to living in a condo.
Affordability. Condominiums are often priced lower than single-family homes. See: What is Better as a Starter Place to Live? Condos or Apartments?
Homeowners Association Fees. As you might imagine, that pool, fitness center, security system, and maintenance crew all cost money. And, that money is paid by you. When you buy a condo, you essentially become a business partner in that community. You pay a monthly fee each month which goes towards the upkeep of the property, as well as future investments. How much will you have to pay each month? HOA fees vary widely, depending on the location, size, and quality of your community.
Lack of Privacy. You’ll have neighbors on the other side of the wall, and neighbors going up and down the hall or grounds at all hours of the day and night. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet around you, a condo may not be the right choice.
Delinquency. As more people struggle to make ends meet, more condo owners are dropping out of paying their association dues. Dues go up for everyone else to cover this delinquency. This means you’re stuck holding the short end of the stick.
Challenging to Sell. Condos can be difficult to sell, because they pretty much all look the same. If there are empty units in your building, those are likely going to sell first.
Living by the Rules. Living in a condo means you have to live by the management’s rules. If you want to change anything of significance (and sometimes even minor), you have to ask the condo association if it’s ok. If they say no, you’re out of luck. There are many rules for living in a condo; for some people, this can be irritating.
Slow Appreciation. Condominiums often appreciate in value much slower than single-family homes. This is because you don’t own any land, which is the biggest driver for appreciation. Instead, you only own the living space. For further information on whether or not you should buy a condominium read: Is it Better to Rent or Buy?, and, Buy House, Condo, or Rent?