If you’re thinking about buying a house, especially in a city, you might wonder if buying a condo is a better value.
A condominium, which is a cross between an apartment and a house, is a piece of real estate that you can buy and own outright.
Condo living has several similarities to apartment living.
Many condos, for example, are adjacent to one another, so owners frequently share a wall.
Furthermore, if you live in a high-rise structure, your condo may be above or below the house of someone else.
If you chat to friends or family members who live in condominiums, you’ll quickly discover that many people enjoy living in them, while others wish they had purchased a home instead.
Are you debating whether or not to buy a condo?
Here are some of the most important advantages — as well as some disadvantages — to consider while making your decision.
Pros: You won’t have to mow your lawn.
This is a significant benefit of condo ownership.
You won’t have to mow because you’ll be paying dues to a condominium organization that will handle the majority of your maintenance.
“I haven’t shoveled snow or mowed a lawn in over a decade.
It’s been fantastic, “According to John Goodman, owner of the public relations agency John Goodman pr,
Before coming to the village of Tuckahoe, he and his wife owned a house in Scarsdale, New York.
“It was one of the best life decisions we’ve ever made,” he says of their condo.
Cons: Managing the outside workload isn’t always easy.
Some condominiums are underfunded and unable to keep up with routine maintenance.
Before buying a condo, you should ask a lot of questions and make sure the association is well-run. You should also find out how many condos the association oversees.
If a dozen members are having trouble paying their dues in a given month and your community has 500 condos, you are unlikely to notice.
However, if you live in a neighborhood of ten condos and two people fall behind on their payments, the association’s budget will be cut by 20%.
Pros: Less expensive than buying a comparable house.
The cost of a condo vs. a house is determined by the size of the home, the neighborhood’s property prices, and the cost of living in the area.
According to industry experts, you’ll typically pay less for a condo, and single-family detached homes have historically appreciated more quickly than condominiums.
For many years, houses have outperformed condos in terms of appreciation.
According to statistics from real estate information company Zillow, the average condo market value increased by about 42 percent between May 2010 and May 2020.
Con: The cost of the condo isn’t the only factor to consider.
You don’t just have to consider the value of your home and your mortgage payments.
Remember to include association dues in your calculations.
Depending on the area, and if you’re searching for a luxury or no-frills condominium neighborhood, you could pay anywhere from $100 to more than $1,000 each month.
Nonetheless, these fees are sometimes used to fund facilities like 24-hour gated security or a first-class gym or pool.
Jonathan Little, a prominent poker player who runs the website jonathanlittlepoker.com, claims to rent out two condos.
At first, I felt a condo was a wonderful idea for someone who didn’t want to deal with the upkeep of a house, Little says.
However, I immediately discovered that the $250 per month that my condo board charged me for the privilege of being managed by them was just too high.
They mowed the grass and kept the condo looking great on the exterior, but they were not accountable for anything inside. ”
And a lot can go wrong inside a house, such as plumbing problems or a broken air conditioning or heating machine, for example.
It’s also possible that you’ll be the subject of an evaluation.
What exactly is it, you ask?
A percentage of your monthly condo cost is put towards the development’s reserves.
This is where the condo association collects money for special initiatives like painting the building’s outside.
If an item cannot be postponed—say, a pipe bursts and the reserve fund is depleted—condominium owners may be asked to pay an assessment, which can range from a small fee to hundreds of dollars.
These financial shocks are unpleasant, but unanticipated expenses in the home are often common.
Keep in mind that condos are more difficult to sell than houses.
You can brag to homebuyers about your big bedrooms or all of the amenities in your condo building, but if several of your neighbors are selling at the same time, there may not be much to set your condo apart from theirs.
Pros: There is a sense of belonging.
Many homeowners would say the same thing about their own area, but keep in mind that condo residents tend to live considerably closer to one another than many suburban homes, which frequently have large yards between them.
Living in a condo, Mark Scott, a corporate communications executive in New York City for evestment.com, a website aimed at the investment sector, claims he has become more social.
You, like most Americans, park your car in the garage and don’t leave till the next day.
When you live in a condo, you see your neighbors in the elevator, the pool, the lounge, and the lobby, “Scott explains.”
You’re also more likely to return because many condos are located in areas with attractive bars, restaurants, parks, and other attractions within easy walking distance.
As a result, I became much more active, living and doing activities with many more of my neighbors than I ever did when I lived in a house. ”
Cons: Can’t choose your neighbors
The fact that you can’t choose your neighbors is a disadvantage.
Scott likes the social, community-oriented part of condo living, but there are drawbacks as well.
As much as I appreciate the engagement with neighbors that a condo provides, you’re not going to get along with or like everyone, he adds. “The negative is that you’re still going to run into those folks.”
“There was a woman in my Atlanta condo with two dachshunds who were misbehaving and barking at other pets in the elevator. If she was in the elevator while I was putting my dogs out, I had to wait for the next one. So that was a big no-no for me. ”
Scott claims to have heard of friends who moved into buildings based on the advice of others–only to have fights with those same friends, making living in the same building unpleasant.
“That never even occurred to me,” he says, “but it’s a real possibility when people live together.”
On the opposite side of the fence, the grass is rarely greener.
On the other hand, you’ll never have to mow the lawn on one side of the fence.