If you are in the process of purchasing a property and are contemplating which type of residence is right for you, then you might want to explore what different alternatives have to offer. One of the most popular choices for people who enjoy living in the city, want to have access to different amenities, and don’t want to worry about maintenance, is a condo.
A condo apartment is a single unit privately owned in a large complex consisting of multiple units. The shared spaces in the complex are collectively owned by all the owners of the separate units. As walls serve to separate one condo from another, condo owners only own the interior space of their units. Thus, one can’t have ownership of the walls.
Compared to living in a completely detached house, the condo lifestyle presents its own challenges which have to be taken into account before purchasing. However, whether it is the lifestyle it offers, the location, or other conveniences, there are some cases when buying a condo makes more sense for someone than buying a detached house. These scenarios can include:
1 – When you want to live in the city
As they can accommodate a lot of residents, condominium complexes are typically located in busy urban areas. Therefore, if you enjoy city life where you can have easy access to every source of entertainment, then a condo may be right for you. You will also be saving money in transportation as everything you need is a walking distance away from you. For many, purchasing a detached house in the city is financially impossible, which is why they may end up buying a house in the suburbs instead and sacrificing the city life.
2 – When you enjoy living in a community
If you live in a condo, you will be sharing common spaces with other owners. These shared areas may include different amenities such as board game rooms, a pool, a bar, or other entertainment facilities. These give residents good opportunities to socialize with one another and meet new people. Moreover, some condo complexes have social committees that help organize events for the residents. While you can still meet your neighbors when you live in a detached house, running into them is far less likely than when living in a condo where there can be 20 different families on one floor.
3 – When you don’t want to deal with the maintenance
Condos are run by associations, such as the homeowners’ association. The owners pay a fee for the management services that the association provides. Among other things, the condo association typically hires a property management firm to handle the maintenance and upkeep of the building. Therefore, by purchasing a condo, you will not have to deal with the headache of maintaining an entire house. You will only be responsible for the space inside your unit.
4 – When you want to have access to facilities
From gyms and pools to rooftop decks and conference rooms, condominiums come with a variety of amenities that their residents can use. If you are someone who wants to have access to these types of amenities, then purchasing a condo would be a good idea. Amenities offer condo owners a lot of conveniences that are not available to owners of detached houses, who would have to travel to public facilities and pay for each separately.
5 – When you cannot afford a detached house
Besides everything else, condos are typically more affordable than detached houses because they are usually smaller in square footage and the owners only own the inner space of their unit. According to NAR, the median price of detached houses in 2020 was $314,400, while the median price for condos was $272,200. Condos also come with lower property taxes than detached houses. If you are a first-time buyer who cannot afford a whole single-family house, then a condo may be your second-best option.
While a condo has many perks, there are also challenges to living in a condominium complex. Depending on what aspects of your home you value most, a condo may or may not be a good fit for you. First, the condo life allows for little privacy in your home, since the units are packed in the building close to one another. Secondly, the association running the condo imposes rules that the condo owners have to follow in order to avoid conflicts between residents. If you are someone who doesn’t like to be restricted by rules set by others, then the condo lifestyle may not be the right one for you. Moreover, you would have to regularly pay fees to the association for managing the condominium complex. The amount you pay in fees will depend on the association and the services that it provides.
In conclusion, before buying a condo, make sure you weigh the pros and cons that condo living has to offer, determine the importance of each aspect, and finally evaluate whether purchasing a condo makes sense for you.