When you are looking for a home, do you picture yourself in a single family home with a fenced yard? Or do you picture yourself in a high-rise or townhome where you can leave on a work trip and not need to worry about what the lawn might look like when you return? What stage of life are you currently in?
There are many reasons that you might want to consider condo living. If you are single or married to your work, you travel a lot, or you just really hate to mow your lawn or shovel snow....you might be a great person to buy a condo. Or if your kids are grown or you are looking to downsize to a smaller home, a condo could be a great fit. Especially if there are no steps and a smaller condo affords you to be able to spend your winters somewhere warmer. So what do you need to consider when you are deciding between a home or a condo?
Here are 5 things to ask:
1. What are the association dues and what is covered? Have the dues increased recently or are they expected to increase?
2. What are the financials of the association? Is there a reserve fund that is adequate for any major repairs that may be needed in the next 10 years?
3. Is there a pet policy? Number of pets? Are there breed or weight restrictions?
4. Is snow removal completed in a timely manner where you will be able to get to your workplace?
5. Are rentals allowed in the association and what are the requirements?
Ultimately, a condo may be a great fit for a few years or long term depending on your lifestyle. It is maintenance free living in a unit that is likely newer than homes in the same price point. So if your agent suggests that you consider a condo, especially if you are not finding what you want in a home in your price range....it might be wise to take a look and see if it might be a good fit for you.
Today's condos are energy efficient, relatively sound proof and are a good investment for your future wealth. You may grow out of your condo and be ready to move on in a few years, but you can choose to keep it and rent it for income in the future as well. The key is asking the right questions upfront and staying involved in your association to make the most of your ownership.