Condominiums: Are They Worth The Trouble To Own? Here’s Why You Should (And Shouldn’t) Purchase a Condominium Unit
July 5, 2016
When people look at buying a residential property, they often consider a condominium. Many people opt for a townhouse or a single family home rather than a condo. So, is a condo worth the trouble? After all, you have to deal with lots of things when you own a condo that you just don’t have to do when you own a different type of property. Read: Rent vs. Buy: Should I Purchase or Rent a Condo? Here are some of the advantages to owning a condominium.
The first advantage is security. Condominiums generally have gated entries, a doorman, security cameras, and other security measures as well. Just about every entrance (there are usually multiple even once you get inside the gate) is secured and you need a card or a key to gain access. This is usually ideal to someone who lives alone, and likes to have an added sense of security to give them peace of mind.
They also offer lots of amenities. Condominiums are communities. Therefore, there usually are tennis courts, a gym, or a basketball court, or a pool. Condominiums offer amenities that don’t come with a house. See: Rent vs. Buy Calculator – Buying or Renting a House.
Another one of the largest benefits to living in a condominium is that other people do the maintenance for you. They cut the grass and maintain the grounds, they fix the roof, and there are plenty of workers on hand for when your furnace quits. If you’re a first time homeowner, this is a major benefit to living in a condo. Also, condos are usually cheaper than owning a home, or a townhouse, for example. However, there are also downsides to owning one.
As you might imagine, that pool, fitness center, security system, and maintenance crew all cost money, and that money is going to come out of your pocket. Realize, that when you purchase a condominium, you essentially become a business partner in that community. You pay a monthly fee each month which goes towards the upkeep of the property, as well as future investments. How much will you have to pay each month? HOA fees vary widely, depending on the location, size, and quality of your community.
You’ll also have neighbors on the other side of the wall, and neighbors going up and down the hall or grounds at all hours of the day and night. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet around you, a condo may not be the right choice.
Dues go up for everyone else to cover people who don’t pay their fees. This is unfair, and it means you’re stuck holding the short end of the stick.
Condos can be difficult to sell, because they pretty much all look the same. If there are empty units in your building, those are likely going to sell first. For further reading, see: Never Rush into Buying a Condo Unit.