Ready to take the plunge into home ownership? Unsure if you’re ready to buy & maintain a single-family home? Then buying a condo might be the right choice for you.
First, What Exactly is a Condo?
A condo, short for condominium, is “one of a group of housing units where the homeowners own their individual unit space and all the dwellings share ownership of common use areas.”* Basically condo owners own their individual unit and share the common areas and amenities of the community with the other owners, which can include parks, pools, playgrounds, gyms, laundries, and other public areas.
The Pros of Buying a Condo
Affordability – Depending on the area, a condo can be a much more affordable way to buy a home than purchasing a single-family home since you’re only purchasing a single unit versus the entire structure, and you’re not purchasing any land. In addition property taxes, home insurance costs, and utilities tend to be lower.
Lower Maintenance Costs – Unlike single-family homes, the exterior maintenance of a condo is usually handled by the HOA. This includes landscaping, driveways & walkways, roofs, & exterior siding & painting. Not having to deal with mowing the grass and trimming bushes or maintaining the exterior can be very appealing.
Opportunities to be Social – These days, people with busy lifestyles living in single-family home communities often don’t get the opportunity to meet their neighbors. It’s common for condo associations to organize social events like pool parties, barbecues, etc. Living in closer proximity to neighbors can give you more opportunities to meet them in person.
Amenities – Condo ownership likely gives you access to amenities like pools & spas, clubhouses, grilling areas, dog parks, etc. Gated condo communities offer the additional advantage of more privacy & safety. The costs of these amenities is shared by all the residents.
The Flip Side: The Cons of Condo Ownership
HOA Fees – Along with the benefits come the costs, and those are part of your HOA fees which can be assessed monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. It costs money to hire professional landscapers to keep the property trimmed and looking clean & neat. Pool & spa maintenance also costs money, as well as regular maintenance of the unit’s exteriors. At times you could also be charged a special assessment if the HOA determines that the entire complex needs new exterior paint or new roofs.
HOA Rules & Regulations – HOA rules can be restrictive. They can regulate everything from trash pickup to how many and what types of pets you can have, to whether you can rent out your unit, or what kinds of exterior decorations are allowed. Breaking these rules can result in fines.
Limited Parking & Storage – You’ll likely be assigned one or two parking spaces. These may be covered or uncovered depending on your community. Visitors will have to park in designated areas that are often an inconvenient distance from your unit. Storage can also be an issue with a condo as their limited square footage often doesn’t allow for much storage space.
Less Privacy – Condo owners share common areas such as lobbies, hallways and amenities. You’ll also be sharing common walls, ceilings, or floors with adjoining owners so noise could be an issue.
So What Should I Do? Contact The Donnelly Group!
Owning a condo can be a great option for many individuals, but it’s obviously not for everyone. It might be great decision at a certain time in your life; maybe as a first step on the housing ladder…or as a downsizing option later in life to cash out from your single-family home…and make sure the kids can’t move back in!
Before you make the decision one way or another, why not contact the Donnelly Group at 480-792-9700 or by email. We would love to help you make the right decision because before you decide to invest in a condo, you need to be sure to consider your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. We can help.