Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in a Condo

Advantages 

  • Affordability:

With the increase in the price of houses, buying a condo is more affordable for first home buyers who have a low budget. Less square footage also means reduction in the electricity bills, no water bill as this is commonly included in the monthly association dues, not yard maintenance and thereby lowering down the cost of living.

  • Maintenance:

In general, condos are smaller in size and require less cleaning and upkeep compared to houses. The maintenance of the gardens, lawns, pools and common property is also the duty of the maintenance professionals covered by your monthly dues.

  • Safety:

A residential complex offers a reasonable amount of safety. Top-notch safety measures are installed in such complexes. Security staff is appointed by the management for security purpose.

  • Location:

Most of these residential communities are located near to shopping malls, restaurants, movie theaters, public transport and other entertainment areas. These complexes which houses innumerable units are the most sought after, booming haven for buyers.

  • Amenities:

The new condo complexes can include gyms, children playgrounds, swimming pools, spas, tennis courts and clubs to mention just a few. Community clubhouses present in these complexes can be rented to residents for a couple of hours for hosting parties.

Disadvantages

  • Rules and Restrictions

Probably you must not be able to back your car into your parking spot or leave a pool towel out to dry on a chair on the patio or you will need approval before putting potted flowers in your patio.
You don’t want to move in and then discover you have to immediately sell your vehicle because you drive a pickup truck and trucks are not allowed and put the dog on a strict diet so he conforms to the maximum weight allowed.

  • Less Storage Space

Living in a condo you have to organize your stuff more efficiently or just get rid of much of it. Read the CCR’s about storage rules before move in.

  • No Yard

This can be a money saving a benefit for some home buyers, but some buyer may love that big, green field with grass and trees, and you won’t get it with a condo. With a condo you will get the share parks in the community.

  • Less Privacy

You’ll be much closer to your neighbors. The sound of high heels clicking on the tile floor above us was also annoying.

If you are concern with privacy issues. The condos with the most privacy might also be farther from the pool, mailbox and parking, so you’ll get more exercise.

  • HOA Dues

HOA dues could be high as $750 per month. Also, can be more than one HOA fee per month if it is a lake in the neighborhood or other amenity.
When dues are low, you need to look at the HOA budget and other financial documents.
Big deficits and/or a lack of reserves suggest that dues could increase soon.

Don’t convince yourself that higher dues are worth it because of amenities, unless you’ll use them.

Calculate the value of the amenities based on your lifestyle. If you use the pool and spa or you will never use it. The same with the other facilities available for the residents. If you don’t use any amenities the value will be zero.

  • Special Assessments

Sometimes the dues the association collects are not sufficient for the necessary maintenance and other costs the association faces. In that case, the HOA may have to implement a special assessment, which can be an unpleasant surprise and isn’t anything you can do but pay. You need to review the condo financial documents before you buy. Ideally, you want to see sufficient reserves to deal with unexpected problems.

  • Mortgage Rates

A condo mortgage may have an add-on charge of 0.75% of the loan amount. It’s usually rolled into the loan, effectively increasing your interest rate. However, there are several important things to consider here.

More importantly, if you’re borrowing substantially less for the condo than you would for the house, your payment is likely to be lower even if you pay the extra 0.75% for the condo loan.

Consult with your loan officer regarding available financing for condos in your area.

Conclusion:

There are certainly many benefits of living in a condo over living in a house. Condo living is beneficial whether you are living alone or with your family. It is cost effective as you get to save on your monthly electricity bills, water bills (water most of the time will be included in the HOA fees), and you will have security patrolling the complex 24/7 in most of the complexes.

Picture: Camelot at Eastlake in Chula Vista, California. Great location with access to the lake, new shopping centers, freeway, and all schools. Community offers clubhouse with recreation room, playground, pool, spa/hot tub, and tennis courts.

Are you ready to sell or buy a condominium unit? I can help!

I will diligently market your property and ensure it’s priced to sell quickly.

Call me today to set up an appointment.

Stella Bonin

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have offices around the country.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”


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