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Condo VS. House Benefits and Drawbacks

Owning a condo is very different than owning a single family home:

Factors to consider are maintenance, location, cost, safety, amenities, accountability, resale value,privacy, space, and more.

When you own a condo, your personal ownership is typically limited to the interior of your unit, and includes the floors, walls and ceilings. In addition, you share responsibilities with all the unit owners for the exterior of the complex, the common areas, and all amenities. Shared ownership offers enticing benefits, but it also carries drawbacks.
* Disadvantages of Condo Ownership

Owning a house demands additional responsibilities, because you alone are responsible for the interior and exterior maintenance and upkeep of the home. However, a house provides other advantages that a condo cannot match. * Advantages of Condo Ownership

Understanding the Pros and Cons of condo ownership during the early stages of your home search will mitigate future disappointments and assist you in making the decision that is right for you.

Advantages of Condo Ownership:

You will not be solely responsible for exterior or common area repairs

The HOA dues (or a one time assessment) you pay will generally cover all exterior repairs, including: siding, roofing, etc.

Convenient location:

Condominiums are often located in prime locations that are convenient to city centers, shopping, and restaurants. The close proximity to the city center and to major transportation routes allows you to reduce your commute time and costs

More affordable than a single family home

Condominiums have a very wide price range, with the lower range often within the budget of first-time buyers and single income families. To find a comparably priced home, you often have to search less desirable neighborhoods and suburban areas of the city.

Security and safety

Nearby neighbors make many condominium owners feel more secure in their home. The presence of neighbors makes it more comfortable to leave home for vacations or work trips. Many condominiums have additional security features, such as a guard service or buzzer system to provide additional protection for the owners.

Low maintenance

No more lawn care…say it again, NO MORE lawn care! Condo living usually means somebody else is taking care of the exterior maintenance, such as mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, and cleaning the gutters.

Amenities

Condominiums often offer access to amenities such as a swimming pool, gym, tennis courts, and reception area in the common areas, providing luxuries you may not otherwise be able to afford.

Neighbor accountability

The condominium association sets rules and regulations that all home owners must follow. The association will enforce these rules to ensure compliance, while also dealing with disputes between unit owners or developers.

Disadvantages of Condominium Ownership:

Community Living

As a member of a condominium complex, you will be part of a “community.” Having shared walls means you are more likely to hear noise from neighboring units, while shared common areas can lead to more interaction with your neighbors than you wish.

Fees

Every condominium owner is responsible for certain fees—typically called Home Owner’s Association (HOA) fees. These dues, generally collected monthly, will never go away! While they may minimize large “one time” expenses, additional fees may still be assessed, in response to unexpected or unplanned for events.

Resale

Historically, condominiums have been more sensitive to real estate market trends than single family homes. When the local housing market starts to decline, the condominium sector is usually one of the first hit—and last to recover.

Rules

When you own a condominium, you lose some of the independence of home ownership. You must follow HOA rules or risk being fined. These rules may influence what you can put in your window, renovations, pet ownership, and noise levels.

Privacy

Due to the close living proximity, condo owners lose some of the privacy that a single family residence affords. Shared walls mean shared noise.

Space

When you own a condominium, you do not own the land beneath you. Your ownership typically extends to the space between the walls of your unit along with shared common areas. This also means you will not have the ability to “expand” the size of your home.