Real Estate

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Condo

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Did you know that about 33% of people who purchase a home every year are first-time buyers? If you’re looking into purchasing your first home, it may seem that a single-family home is your only option. But purchasing a condo is a more attractive choice than you might think!

Buying a condo comes down to lifestyle. If you’re looking for fewer responsibilities and the ability to enjoy city life to the fullest, a condo could be perfect for you.

That said, before you start looking at condos for sale in your area, there are a few factors you need to consider. Keep reading to learn more.

  1. Available Amenities

A condo comes with less space and privacy than a traditional home, but it’s not without benefits. In fact, the perks of condo life are what entice many people into looking into how to buy a condo in the first place.

Just about every condo community comes with a variety of amenities available for resident use. You might not have a backyard, but you’ll have a large green space for dog walking or outdoor play. Maybe you don’t have a large neighborhood to walk around, but you have a 24-hour community fitness center that’s free to use.

Consider not only the community’s available amenities but whether you’ll get any use out of them. Remember that you’ll be paying for these amenities regardless of whether you use them or not.

  1. Community Guidelines

There’s a difference between a condo vs apartment; with a condo, you own your unit, whereas an apartment is rented. That being said, in both situations, you live in a community, not a single-family home. And with this community comes community guidelines.

In any condo complex, there are rules that must be followed in order to avoid fees or eviction. Some complexes have rather relaxed policies, while others come with a long list of stringent rules. Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s essential that you know exactly what you’re signing up for.

Think about your lifestyle and how it might be restricted by condo life. Does your community allow pets? What are the noise policies? Is there a restriction on services such as cable or internet providers? Is smoking allowed? If so, is it restricted to certain areas? 

The questions you need to ask will depend on your habits and concerns. Consider making a list of all of the questions you need to ask before making your decision and bring it with you on your tour. Take a look at this condo buying guide beforehand as well for more information on the things you need to look for before purchasing your new home.

  1. Resale Value

When you’re looking into the pros and cons of buying a condo, one of the most important things to look at is the resale value of your specific condominium. Yes, condos are usually cheaper than single-family homes, but they don’t always increase in value over time, which can make the lower price tag worthless.

You have to think about the building and community as a whole, not just your specific unit. What do your monthly mortgage and association fees cover? How is the structure of your building, is it built to withstand events beyond your control such as natural disasters?

If possible, look back at the sale history of your condo and other units in the community. Are the sales prices rising, or are they staying stagnant, or worse, lowering? In an ideal situation, your condo will come with a good resale value, so you don’t lose money down the road, should you ever decide to move.

  1. Dues and Fees

Dues and fees aren’t specific to condo living. If you purchase a home in a neighborhood with an HOA, you’re going to face similar costs. However, the dues and fees in a condo community can often add up much quicker.

This is because, unlike a traditional neighborhood’s HOA, the association in a condo community is responsible for more intense upkeep, including things like security, repairs, and the wages of the admin staff.

Before you make your final decision, get an exact breakdown of your association dues and condo fees. And remember that these fees are typically on a sliding scale; the larger your unit, the higher fees you’ll be responsible for paying.

Along with a breakdown of your fees, ask about the penalties that come with failure to pay your association fees. You shouldn’t expect this to happen, but it’s best to know what the worst-case scenario looks like. 

  1. Number of Units

A major factor that many considering buying a condo don’t consider is how many units there are per floor, per building, or the unit density of the complex. This might seem unimportant, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The more units there are per building, the more people who will be sharing the community with you. Now, a large community isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just depends on what you’re looking for in your home.

More people means more noise, less privacy, more congestion in the parking lot, etc. It can also mean faster wear and tear on common areas, such as elevators, and less availability of amenities such as pools and fitness centers.

In addition, let’s say that you’re touring a potential condo community. There are only two or three buildings, leaving plenty of green space available for outdoor activities. If this is appealing to you, ask about the future of the community.

Are there plans to add more buildings? How do the developers plan to change the landscape of the community in the coming years?

Consider Your Options Before Purchasing a Condo

Although purchasing a condo can be the right choice in a variety of situations, condo life isn’t for everyone. And because purchasing a home, whether it be a traditional house or a condo, is such a major life decision, it’s essential that you consider all of your options before taking the leap.

Looking for more tips and tricks for finding the perfect home for you and your family? Be sure to check out our blog!

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