Living in a condo has its benefits, but it has downsides too. It’s not the right place for every homebuyer. Should you live in a condo? Ask yourself the following questions.
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Do You Need Privacy?
If you can’t handle living close to your neighbors, such as sharing walls, condo living may not be right for you. Living in a condo means close living quarters and a lot of shared amenities. If you aren’t the social type or don’t like sharing common areas, you may want to look at single-family homes instead.
If, on the other hand, you are social and love the sense of community, living in a condo can be great for you. Many developments have common areas, such as clubhouses, pools, and work out facilities where you can spend time with your neighbors and form a sense of community.
Do you Like Doing Outside Work?
When you own a condo, you don’t have to do the outside work; the association does it for you. Many people enjoy this convenience whether out of necessity (old age or handicap) or just because they don’t have time. Others like the ability to manage the exterior of their home and the landscaping. Give this careful thought before moving into a condo. Are you okay with having whatever landscaping the association decides is good for the area? Do you mind not having to cut the lawn or the area to have a garden?
Can You Give up Control?
Owning a condo means you give up some control of the exterior of your property. The association will have rules you must follow. This could mean rules about how you can decorate the outside of your home, where you can park, and who handles the maintenance. As a single-family homeowner, no one really tells you what to do unless you violate city code, such as a noise ordinance. Condo living means following the rules that are for the greater good of the community, is that something you can live with and give up the control?
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Do You Like Common Areas?
Will you use something like a clubhouse or work out facility? Will you join clubs or even swim in the pool? A part of your association fees will cover the amenities the development offers. Think about if and how you’ll use the amenities to see if that development is right for you. Paying the association fees for amenities that you don’t use may be a waste of money. Some developments don’t have shared areas, such as those, and may have lower association fees.
Do You Like City Living?
If you prefer living in the city or urban areas, condo living may be right for you. If you want land and freedom/privacy, you may want something less urban and look for a rural single-family home. Condos are often located right in the heart of the action, giving you convenience, excitement, and good value, but you have to be comfortable with a constantly thriving environment.
Can you Afford Special Assessments?
Special assessments are often a part of owning a condo. The association charges their monthly association fee, which can change yearly. But then they may also collect money for special issues, such as new roofs or siding. The association keeps a reserve budget, but if the repairs exceed that amount, the shortfall comes down on the owners.
Living in a condo has its advantages and disadvantages. It’s not for everyone, but those that it’s right for, it’s often the perfect solution. Really think about what you want out of your home. Do you need privacy and freedom or do you crave community and less work? Today there are many different condo developments throughout the United States that serves people of all walks of life.
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