For many first-time buyers, purchasing a condo may be an excellent stepping stone to eventual home ownership. Your realtor will tell you that condominiums — like any property — have their pros and cons. For some, the benefits of condominium life far outweigh the disadvantages. For others, condo ownership may not be worth the investment. If you’re looking at real estate listings for condominiums, here are some important pros and cons to keep in mind prior to purchasing.
- Amenities and maintenance
One of the main reasons buyers love condos? They don’t have to worry about maintaining the property or grounds. When you rent an apartment, your landlord should take care of maintenance and repairs, but it’s not always guaranteed. With a condo, you are not responsible for fixing a thing, and you don’t have to spend your time mowing the lawn or fixing issues that are bound to come up. Plus, you’ll have access to a lot of features not often afforded to home owners. These amenities often include pools, fitness centers, or events that provide a sense of community. These are benefits you don’t receive when you own a home.
When you live in a condo community, there’s a good chance you’ll have extra security via gated entries, doormen, or security professionals. This can be helpful if you live alone or want some extra peace of mind. In addition, because your neighbors are close by, you won’t run the risk of living in isolation. The sense of community ensures that your neighbors have your back.
Many first-time buyers are concerned about the purchase price of their first home. In some cases, expectations are unrealistic and it can be a much better choice to buy a condo to fit budgetary needs. It may not be your ultimate dream home, but condominiums are generally priced much more reasonably than single-family homes, which can be a great option when you’re first starting out.
- HOA fees
Although condos may be more affordable than single-family homes, you have to account for Home Owners Association fees. All those awesome amenities cost money to maintain and you are responsible for your share of those costs — even if you don’t use the facilities very much. On top of your monthly mortgage, you have to pay a monthly HOA fee that is allotted for maintenance and future investments. The fee amount varies depending on the condo you choose, but it can add a significant amount to your monthly expenditures.
- Lack of privacy
Having your neighbors close by can be a good thing, but not if you are looking for privacy. If you want the comfort of independent alone time, condominiums may not be the way to go. Many people love apartment and dorm room living, so if you’re a social butterfly and are flexible about your neighbors’ routines, this may not be a big deal. But if you need tranquility in your home, you may want to consider other options for real estate for sale.
- Less value in the long term
Not only are condominiums harder to sell than single-family homes, but their value is also appreciated much more slowly. This is because owning a condo does not include land ownership. Instead, you just own the living space. While finding rental tenants may be easy, finding a future buyer for a condo may be more challenging. If you’re looking to get a good return on your investment, you may be better off getting a starter home and making some valuable renovations instead.
Buying any type of property is a big decision. Whether you’re looking at your first home or your first condo, consult with an experienced realtor prior to signing on the dotted line.