There are a number of types of homes you can buy when you’re ready to own a house but sometimes people think they automatically know that they want a certain type of home.
The reality is there are pros and cons to owning both and you have to be willing to weigh those pros and cons of each type of house and decide what really does work for you and your family.
There are different types of condos available and it definitely depends upon the area that you’re looking in. For many, condos are “part time” homes that are used as vacation houses in particular areas that they love; whether it’s on the ski slopes, on a golf course, or in a beautiful warm climate. Others purchase condos for convenience and the ability to be close to amenities that are generally nearby.
Some condominiums are strictly for particular age groups while others are open to families so that has to be a consideration when you are looking. If you’re an older couple you may not want to live in an area that has children around anymore so make sure that the condo rules are clear as to who can and cannot move into the association. Some condos are also strictly for investing and using a particular number of weeks a year so this is obviously not a home you would buy if you’re looking for a permanent move but would make a great vacation house.
Some of the pros of owning a condominium are quite obvious. Although there are usually Condo Association Fees involved these fees can cover everything from snow removal to lawn care and maintenance. Each condo handles their association differently and fees vary drastically according to what it is you get for the fees. Some with lower fees expect the owner of the condo to do their own inside maintenance and maybe even personal area snow removal such as your stairs or sidewalk areas; while they’ll take care of community areas such as parking and communal gathering areas that may be present. You want to be sure you know what the Association covers, how much the fees are, and how to have things taken care of when needed before you sign on the dotted line.
Another plus to owning a condo is that, although they tend to be smaller in size compared to a individual single family dwellings, they utilize the space they have very efficiently. While you’re square footage may not be much, your actual living space is well thought out and you have plenty of room in most cases. Another plus to condo living is that condos tend to be more modern and well kept. You know that if you’re buying a condo, especially one that has an association that takes care of maintenance, you’re house was maintained well because it’s simply a part of living there. When you’re buying a single dwelling home you can’t always be assured of the maintenance that has occurred on the home.
As a family or a couple that’s planning on a family you also have a feeling of community when you live in a condo. This can also offer a feeling of safety and comfort to you and your family. This can be a plus, especially if you have two working parents or a parent who is often traveling and leaving one parent at home with the child(ren). It can also be a positive lifestyle living in a condo when you are a person who tends to not spend a lot of time at home. You can feel safe that there’s always someone around your home if you’re “on the road” or not home much.
If you’re looking to purchase a condo as an investment and rent it out it can be profitable in the right areas. Depending upon the type of condo and the location it will also probably remain valuable if it’s in a vacation type area also, even if it’s off the beaten path a bit.
The Cons of Condos
There are also some cons to buying a condo and they have to be considered. The first is the obvious extra monthly or yearly Condo Fees. While the positive side is that you know how much you have to put out each year for maintenance and what you get for it, it can also add a substantial amount to your monthly mortgage payment. So while the Condo Association Fees can have a plus to them they can also have a negative side.
Along with those Condo Associations often come “rules” and some of the Associations can be absolute bears about the smallest of things. You’ve all heard horror stories of someone fighting with their neighbors and fellow Condo Association Members about something as silly as a decorative flag they hang on their house or a wreath on their door. Some refuse to allow decorating for any holidays or put limits on what you can do to decorate and how long you can leave it up.
While for some this is no big deal, others may feel that this is their home and they should be able to do what they please. There are reasons both for and against why these Condo Associations have the rules and they can be argued forever without a real conclusion; this is something personal you have to decide.
Condos can also be very cliquish for some people. While many could care less others may take it very personal if you aren’t one of the “clique” that gathers together for various reasons. However if you’re a bit of a mover and shaker and are always on the run you probably will care less who’s talking about who and what the “Condo Mayor” (said in jest) is talking about. Condos tend to be perfect homes for people on the run due to this reason; because your home is never left “empty” per say and there are always people around.
If you’re a social person that likes to entertain a lot you could have some issues with condo living also, depending on how often you entertain and how your neighbors react. There can sometimes be issues with parking and noise ordinances. While in some ways condos are rather social, in other ways they can tend to be a lot less social when it comes to having your own group of friends and relatives around. It does depend upon the condo itself though so don’t assume all condos are this way.
As with all styles of home you have to decide on your own which type would fit your needs best. You could debate with someone forever on whether condo living is good or bad; but what it comes down to is truly a matter of your own preference and how you feel about which home that strikes you as the one.