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[Home & Living] The Pros and Cons of Buying a Condominium

For those who want a hybrid between an apartment and a house, buying a condominium might be the best housing option. There are many benefits to purchasing this type of property. For example, owning a condo is very similar to buying a house, but it is usually less expensive. If you are looking into purchasing a brand new condominium, sites like PropertyGuru will be the best place to start looking for new launch condo.
The Pros and Cons of Buying a Condominium
However, there are some cons involved. Many elements of this type of property are much too similar to apartment living. You are very close to your neighbors, often sharing a wall and if you live in this type of building, you will likely have neighbors above and below you. Condo life is not for everyone, but if you are dedicated to the prospect of owning one, you should read this list of pros and cons.

You Have No Yard to Mow

For people who dislike yard work, owning a condo is the dream. You don’t need to worry about mowing your yard, gardening or keeping up the outward appearance of your home. You will instead pay dues to an association, who will take care of your maintenance needs. If you have a busy work or social life, then this choice is probably the way to go, because you have less to worry about when it comes to home maintenance and upkeep, according to Money Crashers. You also don’t need to worry about paying thousands of dollars per year for a gardener or maintenance person. You simply pay your dues every year.

The Downside of Not Mowing The Yard Yourself
Unfortunately, there are some cons to not being able to work on the yard yourself. Some associations are underfunded and have no money in reserve to pay for improvements like new paint, new roofing and concrete or wood repair. In order to avoid this issue with your association, make sure to research your association before making a purchase, and determine how many condos the association manages. If you live in a smaller community and your neighbors fail to pay their dues, it will have a much bigger effect than if you live in a larger community and a handful of people fail to pay their dues.

Buying a Condo is Cheaper Than Buying a Similar House

While the cost of your condo depends on your neighborhood, region and the size of your home, you will typically spend less than you would on a house of similar size in a similar area. According to Amy Tierce, a regional vice president with Wintrust Mortgage in Needham, Massachusetts, you would pay about 70 percent of what you would spend on a similar house with the same square footage in the same area. Therefore, buying a condo might be the best option for you, especially if you are paying your mortgage on one income, if you have other debts or if you want to save your money for travel, children or retirement.

The Downside of Buying a Condo
The downside is that you don’t just pay for the property when you buy a condo. You also need to factor in those aforementioned association dues, which could range from as low as $100 to month to over $1000, or more than your mortgage, especially if you’re living in a luxury property with a top-notch gym, swimming pool and 24-hour gated security.

Additionally, if your association needs to work on a dire project, like a burst pipe and there is not enough money in reserve to cover repairs, you may be asked by the association to pitch in money for the repair, as much as thousands of dollars. You should be prepared for these unplanned expenses if you own your property. Keep in mind that this type of property is often much harder to sell than houses, especially since yours is probably hard to distinguish from the others in your building.

Condos Offer a Sense of Community

There is a big sense of community in these buildings. While homeowners will say the same thing about their neighborhood, condo owners tend to live in much closer proximity to each other than homeowners in the suburbs. If you are a social butterfly who loves interacting with your neighbors, this type of living is probably a good option for you, since you will have plenty of opportunity to interact with your neighbors at events and parties.

The Downside of a Close Knit Community
While many people love socializing with their neighbors, others prefer their privacy. If you like your privacy, you might prefer buying a house where you’re more closed off from your neighbors. Also, if loud noises annoy you, this might not be the best option. You might hear your neighbors’ entertainment sound systems, or loud unpleasant neighbors talking or stomping around.

That being said, the grass is always greener on the other side. It is best to be well informed before making the move on purchasing a new condo, but one person’s pros might be another person’s cons. You might love the sense of community or you might be annoyed by the noise. You might love that you don’t have to deal with yard work or you might yearn for the opportunity to garden. Whatever you prefer in a home, educate yourself and make sure you know all your options before deciding on a property to purchase.

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