I find that many of my home-buying clients frequently ask themselves if buying a condo is a smarter option. For many people, the answer is yes, but others warn against it. I’ve built my best list of pros and cons for you to consider if you are thinking of purchasing a condominium.
Pros of Buying a Condo
Buying a condo is appealing to many. Here’s why:
- More affordable – This is the number one reason my clients opt for condos: They are more affordable. Especially for many first-time buyers, seeing the price difference between condos and single-family homes makes them choose the lower option for their first property-ownership situation. This allows them to stop paying rent and build equity, but without the steep price of a home mortgage.
- Maintenance free – This may be the second most appealing reason to purchase a condo — you’ll have someone else doing all the mowing and landscaping. If you avoid yardwork like the plague, condos may be a great fit for you.
- Sense of community – Since you live in closer proximity to your neighbors, the likelihood of getting to know them and seeing them frequently is higher. When you’re getting the mail, walking the dog or taking out the trash, there’s a good chance you will run into someone. And depending on your association and community amenities, you may have additional social opportunities to partake in.
- Amenities – Many condo communities offer excellent amenities for members, including pools, tennis courts, fitness centers, golf courses, clubhouses and more. These can be really appealing, especially when you’re just embarking on owning your first property.
- Location – Oftentimes, condos are located in desirable locations, such as the beach or a mountain ski community. Single homes may be too expensive to purchase in these spots, so condos are a great alternative.
- Security – Many condos are located in gated communities providing an extra layer of security and comfort.
Cons of Buying a Condo
Condos can have their downfalls, and I never want to advertise the pros, without also sharing the cons. Here’s my list:
- Difficult resales – Condos can be very difficult to sell when it comes time for you to move on. Some owners intend to rent them out instead, but if you’re depending on your sale money to purchase your next home, condo resale can sometimes be a hindrance.
- Slow appreciation – Condos don’t appreciate in value as quickly as single-family homes do, which can also affect your next move.
- Steep fees – Condo communities feature homeowners’ association fees to cover grounds upkeep and maintenance of additional facilities. Fees depend upon how many amenities you enjoy within the community, but these can be high.
- Less privacy – Condo living is like being in an apartment, where you can often hear your neighbors and you enjoy less privacy than in a single-family dwelling.
- Rules to follow – Because you’re a member of the association, you will have to follow their rules. You’ll need special approval for many upgrades and changes.
Deciding whether to purchase a house or a condo is a personal decision. Take this list and decide how important each issue is to you. If you’d like to have a discussion, please give me a call! We can talk it through and help you decide which is the smartest option for you!
For more tips and support when selling your home, contact me! And remember, when you list with me, I stage for free when we use your furniture! I’d love to partner with you on your next home buying and selling adventure.