So you’re in the market for a new home, but you are torn between buying a house or a condo. Though you’ll never be able to anticipate every little detail, it’s always a good idea to seriously consider your lifestyle and the pros and cons of your potential new home. Here are three advantages to owning a condo that might help make your decision a bit easier.
Condos have become more popular as the baby boomer generation are finding themselves with empty nests and the desire to downsize. Condos often sell for less than single-family homes according to statistics at the National Association of Realtors. And depending on which area you are in, the savings can be substantial. While single-family homes have been found to appreciate faster than condos, Trulia found that median condo market values climbed by 38.4 percent from February 2012 to February 2017. Buying a condo means you won’t be buying land, which can affect the price of the condo in a way that makes it much more affordable, even if you end up in a condo that requires monthly dues.
Monthly dues may seem like a definite con on your pro/con list at first. But, let’s consider how those monthly dues are put to work. Monthly dues can cover everything from 24-hour security, a swimming pool, theater rooms, party rooms, or an on-site gym. These monthly fees will also include maintenance for the grounds which can include landscaping & gardening. But, keep in mind that the monthly dues only cover external parts of the building and often won’t include any amenities inside your unit. By law, a portion of those condo fees goes into a reserve fund. This means that if any major repairs are needed such a roofing replacement or new windows. Condo fees are likely to increase over time, but owning a single-family home will also come with its share of costs and fees–especially if you end up in a planned development with an HOA. Be sure to do your research and make sure that the fees feel like they are doing what you want them to do for you in your new home.
Living in a condo can come with a built-in community. Sure, living in any neighborhood can bring with it a sense of community. But, when you are in a condo you are in much closer proximity to your neighbors and more likely to see them on a regular basis in an environment that allows for quick catch-ups and check-ins. Elevator rides to the parking garage can quickly turn into moments you look forward to before your commute each morning as you have a chance to say “good morning” to your neighbors. It will also be easier to plan resident-only events to encourage welcoming new residents to the building, celebrating milestones in life or just having a BBQ with your neighbors. In addition to the community in the building, many condos are in areas that make it easy to access other parts of the city. Condos are typically near trendy bars and restaurants and can make it easier to go out and explore your neighborhood without having to worry about parking or other hassles when you commute into the city for a fun night out.
These are only a few things to consider when deciding if a condo is right for you. Remember to always do your research, interview current people you know living in condos, and be sure to find out as much as you possibly can about monthly fees and any other dues before making any big decisions. Better yet, see if any Airbnb condos are available in the building you are considering and then test it out to see if it feels right for your lifestyle. Good luck in the search for your perfect home—we’re here to help with that!