The Pros and Cons of Buying a Condo
Many buyers view condominiums, or simply condos, as an excellent way to join the ranks of homeowners. Condos can feel like a bridge between living in an apartment and a single-family home. They are residential buildings where each tenant owns their unit but shares ownership of common areas and amenities.
Should you buy a condo? Of course, it depends on what you want. Here are some of the most critical trade-offs:
When you own a condo and pay down your mortgage, you’re building equity in a property that may also gain value. Later, if you decide to sell, you can use this equity to trade up to a different home.
Condo owners don’t need to mow the lawn, shovel snow, repair the roof, or tend to other home maintenance chores. If you prioritize free time for other activities, a condo can be an excellent choice.
Access to amenities
Many condo communities include pools, saunas, gyms, and other amenities—features out of reach for the average homeowner and a potential source for valuable social connections.
On average, condominiums are priced lower than single-family homes, partly because they tend to be smaller and because condo prices don’t include land ownership.
Property owners’ associations
Shared amenities and general upkeep come at a cost, which condo owners pay in monthly fees. Property owners’ associations can also place restrictions on pets, visitors, renting out units, etc.
Potential for mismanagement
Owners’ associations should budget for routine maintenance and major long-term projects. However, owners may face unexpected and significant expenses if board members aren’t planning adequately.
Lack of privacy
Condo owners may share walls, floors, ceilings, hallways, and possibly elevators. While that may translate into friendly encounters, it can also mean unwelcome noise at inconvenient times.
Harder to sell?
Condos aren’t for everyone, and you may need to compete with other similar units in your building. But the financial health of your owners’ association may play the most significant role in your condo’s resale price.
If you’re interested in purchasing a condominium or other type of home, be sure to work with an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®). Real estate agents who have earned the ABR® designation have completed specialized training in assisting buyers with every aspect of their transactions.