What to Look for in a Condo

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People choose buying condos over single-family homes or renting an apartment for several reasons. Whether it’s the convenience of a downtown location near shopping and cultural centers, the joys of home ownership without the headaches of yard work, or the affordability factor condos offer versus traditional homes, there are many benefits. Here are a few things to consider if you are thinking about one.

1. Condos Mean Shared Responsibility – One of the features of condo living that attracts people to this choice is the sharing of responsibility in terms of repairs and for insurance purposes. Most condominium communities have associations that are responsible for making repairs and upgrades to the building’s exterior features, such as windows, siding and roofs.

2. Condos Can Be More Affordable – In densely populated, urban areas, condos are often a more affordable alternative than single family homes. It’s not unusual to find a three-bedroom condominium at thousands less than you would pay for a three-bedroom home. If this is your area and you want to buy a home, but can’t afford a house with a picket fence and a back yard, condo living may provide a more budget-friendly option.

3. Condos Offer Convenience – Price and affordability aren’t the only considerations for many condo buyers. Some demographics, such as seniors and single adults, prefer having someone else sweat behind the lawn mower or squeeze under the sink to correct a plumbing problem. For these residents, condo living can offer the joys of home ownership without the pain of home maintenance.

4. Condos May Include Other Fees – While your monthly condo payments may be lower than a traditional home mortgage, keep in mind that most condo communities also charge association fees. This is a monthly expense that may help pay for anything from gate security to lawn or shared property maintenance. Bronniche advises any potential condo buyer to be sure to factor in any additional expenses such as association fees into their monthly budget before signing a purchase agreement.

5. Condos are Subject to Association Rules – Along with the master insurance policy and a different process for purchase agreements, condo living also requires residents to play by the association’s rules. These can sometimes be extensive. It’s not uncommon for an association to require residents to do things from turning down the music after 10 p.m. to registering any frequent guests with the security personnel. Other condo associations may prohibit pets or conducting any sort of business in your unit.

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