If you're a prospective homebuyer, you have lots of options. Maybe you’re weary of paying rent or have accepted a job transfer. You could be an empty nester planning to downsize. Buyers who don't feel a single-family home is the right choice may find that it's time to consider purchasing a condominium unit, which offers heightened flexibility and higher affordability in a home that serves as part of a larger building.
A condominium represents a kind of home ownership in which owners share an interest in common areas, such as a yard or a parking area. However, each owner holds a title separately for their respective unit. Here are six reasons why a condo could be the right choice for you.
1. Financial Outlay
When deciding between a single-family home or a condo, expense is usually a major factor. A condo generally costs significantly less than a single-family residence when evaluating similar locations and might be a better fit for your budget. This means that your down payment, monthly mortgage payments, insurance, and property taxes are lower. You’ll also save money on maintenance, since condo owners share the cost of common upkeep.
In some cases, owners of single-family homes must belong to a homeowners’ association with fees much steeper than those assessed by condo associations. Even when there is no HOA linked to a single-family dwelling, condo ownership costs are usually significantly less.
A smaller home means less cleaning and interior upkeep. Roof replacement and maintenance of the community grounds and the exterior of units is the responsibility of the condo association, which hires contractors. This frees up an owner’s time for more enjoyable activities. For those who are downsizing, it can be a welcome relief after years of yard work and structural maintenance.
Condo complexes typically offer amenities that owners of single-family homes don’t enjoy. Think swimming pools and hot tubs. Some have fitness centers, basketball and tennis courts, childcare facilities, and even book clubs. Many larger complexes provide concierges to rent a car or obtain event tickets for residents.
Does a gated community appeal to you? How about a security guard? The presence of neighbors surrounding you is an undeniable plus for buying a condo instead of a singlefamily dwelling. Many condo communities establish neighborhood watch groups to look out for each other. Buzzer entries and security cameras are also common.
Condo dwellers comment on the strong sense of community they experience. This is particularly true when a community plans social events for its residents. A condo community is also the perfect place to gain some new friends who won’t have to travel miles to spend time with you. Whether you’re a single who loves to party or a retired couple, it’s easy to find a community filled with other owners who have similar interests.
Condominiums are ideal for buyers who love the buzz of an urban environment. Builders often erect complexes in downtown areas near restaurants, transit hookups, retailers, theaters, museums, and other attractions. A condo near a college or university is often far more affordable than a single-family home in the same area.
Do you have a favorite but pricey neighborhood? Buying a condo instead of a singlefamily dwelling could be the deciding factor in whether residing in that particular section of town is doable. If you’d love to live in a luxury spot such as near the beach or beside the ski slopes, owning a condo often allows you to enjoy the associated lifestyle at a fraction of the expense of a single-family residence. You might want to buy in a luxury location with an eye toward eventually turning your home into a rental. That represents great investment potential.
Many benefits of owning a condominium are attractive to prospective buyers looking at real estate. Whether your concern is satisfying financial requirements, social interaction, saving time, or all of them, buying a condo might be the perfect choice for you.
Blog post provided courtesy of our RE/MAX Colleague Justin Havre of Justin Havre & Associates at RE/MAX First in Calgary, Canada.