Condo life – Are you ready for a condominium?
A condo is a type of home where the real estate property is owned individually in the form of a unit. For instance, if there is a building with 10 condos, each condo is a separate unit. As the owner of the condo, you typically own and are responsible for what is within your walls. Things like the roof and siding of the condo are not owned by you. Upkeep of the roof and siding are generally performed by the condo association in charge of your condominium community.
Condos are often placed in locations where single-family homes would not fit or be too expensive. Some of these locations can be within a city, up-and-coming developments, or close to train stations for commuters. Condos are placed in these locations due to the small amount of room a condo occupies versus a single-family house.
ACCESS TO AMENITIES
Being a part of a condo community may have some perks only members of the community have access to. Condos can offer amenities such as a fitness center, sauna, pool, clubhouse, and/or tennis courts. Keep in mind, that this condo may provide you access to such facilities you may otherwise have to pay extra for outside of the community.
As a member of the condo community, certain costs such as having a gym membership or purchasing fitness equipment may be reduced. Some buyers love the amenities and the community feeling associated with them. All condo owners share the amenities as a community which may foster a level of closeness.
One of the perks of owning a condo is that you have the advantages of homeownership and renting. For example, you have ownership of the condo, but when it’s snowing or huge piles of leaves are accumulating, someone else comes and cleans. These perks aren’t free, however. You pay via your maintenance fees, but why not? You are not responsible for things like landscaping, shoveling, and raking leaves. These are things to consider especially if you live in a heavily wooded area or expect a lot of snow.
Most condos are smaller than most single-family homes. A lot of potential homeowners favor a smaller size because of personal taste or reduced responsibilities. Some prefer living in a smaller space where there is less to clean yet offers the perks of ownership. Structurally, condos are built differently than single-family homes. Whereas a single-family home is located on its own as a separate entity, condos are more often than not attached by the sides and built vertically.
Keep in mind if you do purchase a condo and want to make additions or have construction work done, you may face restrictions. Get in touch with the condo association on rules and regulations of structural changes.
Depending on where you are from, the difference in cost between a condo and a single-family house that are both 2000 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, can be drastic. You will most likely pay less for the condo. In addition to paying less for the condo, you may spend less on maintenance. This is why it is important to figure out how much association fees are before buying a condo. Fees may include any or all of the following: insurance, lawn maintenance, snow removal, trash pickup, sewer service, and roof maintenance.
As mentioned previously, you may also have access to a fitness center, pool, and sports equipment at your community. Keep in mind that having access to such amenities and maintenance may be cost-efficient. Whereas in a single-family home you will be in charge of your lawn maintenance, snow removal, trash pick-up, roof maintenance, these are certainly things that can add up in costs. You will also have to pay for gym equipment either in the form of local gym membership or buying equipment yourself. Keep these things in mind prior to your purchase and verify what exactly is covered and not covered within your fee.
Some condos do offer different forms of security to their condo community. Different forms of security may include a gate with security code to get in, a security guard, and cameras. Understand that some condo communities do not have any forms of security. If this is a concern for you, ask the condo association if there are any forms of security.
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