There are many reasons people choose to live in a condominium. Friends that live in condos will either love it or hate it. Be informed before taking the leap into condo/community living. No matter what the final decision is, these are just a few items to research and review before deciding whether condo living is for you.
5 Pros for Condo Living
- No lawn and low to no outdoor maintenance. This is a very popular reason to move into a condominium. No lawn work, no shoveling snow, no building and roof maintenance are just some of the outdoor plusses to living in a condo.
- Amenities. Most condos have some amenities such as a pool, a fitness center, tennis courts and bocce courts available to the residents in the community. These amenities can be cost prohibitive in a standalone environment but are included in condo living.
- Affordability. Condos are usually more affordable than standalone homes. Affordability depends on the location but many times this is a good opportunity for first time homebuyers to own their space.
- Security. Controlled access for residents such as gated communities, security guards and electronic access to the buildings and underground parking garages help foster a sense of security; a big plus for many residents living in a condo.
- Sense of community. This is especially popular in senior communities. Interaction with your neighbors and likeminded people helps foster a social feel to your community.
5 Cons for Condo Living
- Close Neighbors. Depending on the style of the community, many times condos share walls, floors and ceilings. Hearing a neighbor’s theater sound system late at night might annoy a common wall neighbor.
- Privacy. Sometimes privacy in a condo community is at a premium. Shared walls, close neighbors and community rules might limit your ability to enjoy your privacy in a condo.
- Condo Fees. Condo or Association fees can be a costly addition to normal monthly expenses. While these fees pay for the amenities and maintenance of the community, the average monthly fees range from ~$200 to ~1,000 in addition to your other monthly expenses. The variance if fees directly relates to community type and locations as well as amenities and luxuries available to the homeowner.
- Dwelling Only Ownership. Condo living is ownership of the dwelling you reside in. The resident does not own any land. Use of land can be allotted to residents if space and the governing documents allow. Land is not a deeded feature of condo living.
- Harder to Sell. Depending on the location, if a resident wants to sell their unit, condos can be harder to sell than standalone houses due to the restrictions imposed by the community.
Community living as a whole is both a pro and a con and not a decision made in the moment. Some points to consider about community living are: • All amenities are maintained by the community. • Maintenance is minimal. • Joint decisions are made on common area issues. • No external individuality. • Rules and regulations govern all aspects of community living. • Modifications require permission from the governing board. • Financial stability of the community can depend on all the owners paying their fees.
Whether you decide condo living is right for you or not; an informed decision will help make your living arrangements more agreeable with your lifestyle choices.