What Is A Condo Pros And Cons Tips On Buying Part 1 Of 2
If you’re thinking of buying a condo, there are lots of reasons why it might be a smart move right now. Condos have never been more popular, particularly with the aging Baby Boomer population, which is starting to downsize and move into homes that are easier to care for. As a result, condos are in high demand and appreciating faster than single-family homes.
Buying a condo can be a great option, whether you’re just starting a family or escaping empty nest syndrome, However, condo living isn’t for everyone. There are some important questions to ask before buying a condo and just as many downsides as there are benefits.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of condo life.
What Is a Condo?
A condo is like an apartment that you own, right? Sort of. But there are some big differences between an apartment and a condo.
A condo, which is short for “condominium,” is a private residence within a larger building or community, while an apartment is a leased residence within a larger building or community. Condos share common areas with all the other units in their community; these common areas can include a fitness center, pool, and manicured grounds. Unlike an apartment, however, condo owners pay monthly dues to keep these amenities operating and in good condition.
Condos can be townhouses that are attached on one or both sides to another unit. Or, if the condo is in a larger building or high-rise, it might be surrounded by other units.
Benefits of Buying a Condo
Are you cut out to be a condo owner, or are you better off buying a single-family home? It’s a tricky question. Some people love living in a condo community, while others discover over time that they’d be happier with a bit more privacy and freedom. Condos offer a long list of pros and cons. Let’s start with the positives first.
1. Less Maintenance
One of the biggest benefits of living in a condo is that other people do the maintenance for you. They cut the grass and maintain the grounds, they fix the roof and shovel snow, and you don’t have to worry about finding someone to replace the siding. If you’re a first-time homeowner, in poor health, busy with work, like to travel, or you just don’t want to deal with all those chores, this is a major benefit.
Condos can also be a good option if you want to age in place because you have close neighbors, experienced maintenance staff to take care of big repairs, and plenty of activities to keep you engaged with your community.
Many condos offer gated or locked entries, doorkeepers, or even security professionals for residents. If you live alone or security is a concern for you, this can be reassuring because it might reduce the risk of home break-ins. In addition, you live in close proximity to many other people, which means that in an emergency, you’ll have plenty of people to turn to for help
Want a pool? A fitness center? Wednesday game nights at the community clubhouse? Many condo communities offer residents amenities that are out of reach for the average homeowner.
These amenities can also make it much easier to get to know your neighbors. If you live alone or love to socialize, this can be a great perk.
Condominiums are often priced lower than single-family homes. According to the National Association of REALTOR (NAR), in August 2018, the average selling price for a single-family home hovered around $260,000. Condos typically have a lower average selling price — around $248,200, according to the NAR. Depending on the region and the community, the asking price can be dramatically lower than a single-family home. So, if you want to dive into homeownership on you’re on a tighter budget, a condo can be a great first step.
In years past, condos typically appreciated at a slower rate than single-family homes because single-family homes are more appealing to more people. More importantly, you get land when you buy a home, and land is a huge factor in appreciation.
However, this is changing. Citing research conducted by Trulia, The Washington Post reports that the market value for condos rose by 38.4% between 2012 and 2017, while the value of single-family homes only rose by 27.9%.
6. Proximity to City Life
Many condos are located close to vibrant downtown areas, which is appealing for many reasons.
First, some people want to be able to walk, commute by bike, or take public transportation to their job because they’re sick of spending an hour a day or more sitting in rush hour traffic. Living close to your job can save you thousands of dollars each year in fuel and car maintenance costs.
Living near a thriving downtown also makes it easy to visit new restaurants, go shopping, and check out live shows. If you can walk or take public transit, you’ll likely find that you get more exercise because it’s easier to get out and about. Also, condos located in prime neighborhoods might increase in value faster than condos in the suburbs, which can make them a worthy investment.
In our next article part, 2 of the two-part series on "What Is A Condo Pros And Cons Tips On Buying" we will look at the cons of buying a condo along with a few tips on buying one.
Robert Schmalz - Broker / Founder Los Angeles Real Estate Group
An Independent California Licensed Realty
California Broker Lic #01813025
"Helping Guide Clients Through The Economic Complexities Of Real Estate
By Knowing Their Wants And Needs"
Author: Robert Schmalz - BRE 01813025
February 14th 2019
About Robert: DBA "West Los Angeles Real Estate Group"