Tired of renting? Want to own a piece of property instead? Does a single-family home seem like too much of an investment? Looking to downsize? You might want to buy a condo. But before you make a final decision, consider these important factors.
What to Consider Before You Buy a Condo
That’s Not Your Land
Owning a condo is like owning an apartment. Yes, decorate however you want inside. But you do not control what happens outside of your door. That space belongs to the condo association. Sometimes, your condo may not even include any personal outdoor space at all. However, if you’re looking to simplify your lifestyle, you may prefer this to mowing the yard and pulling weeds every weekend.
Speaking of landscaping, maintaining your condo is cheaper than maintaining a single-family home. The cost of big-ticket items like a new roof, exterior paint, or resurfacing the parking lot gets shared by other condo owners in your building. Sometimes, the cost of interior plumbing, electrical, and sewage issues get shared by condo owners as well. Single-family homeowners shoulder that expense all by themselves. Plus, you never have to shovel a walkway or mow a lawn again.
HOA Fees Run High
While the actual physical labor involved in maintaining a property is off your shoulders, your HOA fees cover these costs when you buy a condo. And those HOA fees tend to run much higher than someone living in a single-family home. If your property includes tennis courts, a pool, a gym, or other amenities, your HOA fees cover the cost of their regular maintenance. Plus, you may be asked to provide an additional fee when it comes to tackling those big-ticket projects.
Neighbors are ThisClose
Again, like living in an apartment, you share walls with your neighbors. That can be a blessing and a curse. You may have to deal with a noisy or messy neighbor. But, with condos, you may also have someone living next to you that has a vested interest in their own property. This could help you develop a nice, long, lasting relationship with your neighbor. Apartment living may mean a revolving door of tenants. You never know what you’re going to get. On that note…
Know Who’s Occupying the Building
Ask your REALTOR® to help you research how many condos are occupied by the owners and how many are rental units. The more owner-occupied units, the higher the likelihood that they’ll take care of their property. Pride of ownership helps increase the chances of living harmoniously together.
Scott Gleason, CRS at Coldwell Banker Realty – East, NJ Luxury Homes