Pros and Cons of Condo Ownership

Condo ownership is appealing to many prospective homebuyers. With convenient locations and low-maintenance living, it may seem like the ultimate solution! Before you go all-in, take a look at the pros and cons of condo ownership:

Pros of Condo Ownership

Amenities: Many condo associations offer resort-like amenities. Because the cost of the pool, gym, and common spaces are split across so many owners, you can get access to luxurious amenities for a fraction of the price.

Security/Safety: Some condo associations offer a doorman or private security. Apart from security, proximity to neighbors provides peace-of-mind.

Price: Condos are often much more affordable than single-family homes, especially for their location. Many condos are located in desirable neighborhoods, city-centers or resorts, making them an affordable option for first-time homebuyers who don’t want to sacrifice their ideal location.

Maintenance: The biggest advantage of buying a condo is that maintenance is included. Exterior maintenance and lawn care are all taken care of by the homeowners association. While you do pay dues, unexpected expenses are kept to a minimum.

 

Cons of Condo Ownership

Homeowners Association Fees: On top of a regular mortgage payment, most condo owners are responsible for monthly homeowners associations (HOA) payment. Most HOA fees range from $200-$400 per month[1]. This can be costly on top of mortgage payments.

Privacy: If you live in a condo, be prepared to share a wall with your neighbors. Even though proximity to your neighbors can offer increased security and safety, condo owners do give up privacy.

Rules and Regulations: Most condo developments have strict rules and guidelines for residents. There are small rules such as no outdoor grills or parking restrictions. You are also limited to the improvements you can make to your unit. If you want to install solar panels, for example, you will have to get permission from the HOA.

Appreciation: Condo owners are purchasing a unit, not the land. Land is one of the main forces behind appreciation, so condos appreciate slower than single-family homes[2].

Pros and Cons of Condo Ownership

Condos ownership is an excellent option for a prospective homeowner looking for a safe, low- maintenance, affordable living situation with access to amenities. If you are looking for freedom from rules and regulations, an appreciating asset, low additional monthly expenses and privacy, condo ownership many not be the best option.

 

 

 

[1] http://www.investopedia.com/articles/mortgages-real-estate/08/housing-appreciation.asp

[2] http://www.investopedia.com/articles/mortgages-real-estate/08/homeowners-associations-tips.asp