Key Questions to Ask When You Are Considering Buying a Condo

If you are tired of renting, but not yet ready to invest in a single-family home, a fantastic option to consider is buying a condo. 

While condos can be a truly fantastic living option, they do come with some unique challenges. That’s why it’s important to ask yourself some key questions before you decide to fully invest in a condo. 

Are the fees worth it?

As you likely know, condos are clusters are individually owned units that share common walls. For that reason, common areas such as gyms, outdoor areas, parking garages, and more are maintained by the company that owns and manages the building. That doesn’t mean you’re getting that maintenance for free, however. 

Condo owners pay a monthly fee for routine and emergency maintenance to the building. While it can be great to have these types of needs taken care of, it is important to keep in mind that it will likely cost you several hundred dollars in the form of condo fees. 

Can you follow the rules?

The old adage, “My house, my rules” doesn’t totally apply when you own a condo. Every condo has association rules, and while most rules are fully reasonable, some can seem somewhat restrictive depending on the lifestyle you want to lead. 

Every association is difference and it is absolutely crucial that you understand such rules before you sign on the dotted lines. Some common rules and restrictions include:

  • No dogs
  • No window air conditions 
  • No kids 
  • No late-night laundry
  • No outdoor flags or decorations 

Believe it or not, condo associations can sue if you violate rules that you agreed to.

Does a condo fit your lifestyle?

Condos make fantastic investments for singles or young couples that lead busy lives and don’t spend tons of time at home. They’re also perfect for retirees who do not want to spend their time and energy maintaining their homes. 

For those who want a private yard, want to entertain large parties, or make a project out of a dramatic refurbishing job, a condo probably isn’t the best place to look for. 

Derrick of wants to remind you to think about the short and long term:

“It is important to consider your lifestyle both in the short and long term when you are thinking about investing in a condo,” he says. “You may not want kids not, but in a few years? Could be a different story. This type of decision is a major one to make and you need to make sure that you and your spouse are on the same page in terms of how you plan to lead your lead your life in the coming years.”

Is a condo the right investment for you?

It’s quite common for first-time homeowners to go the way of purchasing a condo. First of all, they are more affordable than homes of a similar size and quality, but they also do tend to be easier to find in city centers, where younger people do tend to live. 

While the rumor that condos don’t appreciate as fast as single-family homes does exist, it is categorically false. In fact, the National Association of Realtors have shown that condos have started to outpace single-family homes in terms of value appreciation. Unlike homes, however, their value does depend heavily on the attached association fee. 

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