Is Condo Living Right for You?

Stillwater Condos

When buying a home, there are many different types of housing to choose from.  This week we are going to focus on condos.  Condos can be a great option for many people, but they are not right for everyone.  Here are a few things to consider:

What is your price range?

Condos typically are less expensive than the single family homes in their perspective neighborhoods.  Many first time homeowners opt to buy a condo for this reason.  Because condos are generally located in desirable neighborhoods, the price per square foot may be higher than what you would pay for a nearby home.  Also, condos are often smaller than a lot of single family houses.

How much time do you spend at home?

Many people who travel with their jobs like living in condos because they do not have to worry about security and yard maintenance while they are away.  When you own a condo, you are responsible for everything that is inside the home.  A lot of people who are retired prefer this kind of dwelling because they do not have to worry about yardwork.  On the flipside, many condos do not have yard space allocated to each condo.  If you like to work in the yard, this may not be your best option. 

What ammenities are important to you?

Many condos have club houses, swimming pools, workout equipment, tennis courts, playgrounds etc...  These can be a real plus for people who would like easy access to these facilities.  As an owner, you may be responsible to pay your share of maintenance for these ammenities.  Normally your monthly condo fees would take care of general maintenance and yard work; however, there may be times that additional money is needed for major improvements to the site.  All owners have a part ownership in the land surrounding their condos.  Generally a board is formed made up of owners to discuss all things pertaining to all owners such as renovations, facility hours, rules, and regulations.

How close do you want to live to your neighbors?

Like apartments, you will share walls and parking areas with the other residents.  Condo walls are generally reinforced to cut down on noise; however, there is still a possiblility that you may hear much more from your neighbor than you would care to. In contrast, many people love being able to see and associate with their neighbors. Parking can be scarce in some condo complexes.  Make sure you find out before you buy what the parking situation is.  Are you allocated a certain number of parking spaces?  Will you have a garage or carport? Does your unit come with a storage garage/shed? What kind of visitor parking is available.

What is your budget?

Most complexes charge a monthly condo fee.  The condo association should be able to provide you with an outline of what the monthly fee would be and what it covers. One of the great things about condos is that many regular budget categories such as gym memberships and recreational activities can be eliminated because those facilities are part of the community. 

Do you own a pet?

Some condos do not allow pets at all.  Most allow animals; however, you will need to check the rules to see if your pet is within the guidelines.  Also, it is wise to find out what the policies are for allowing your pet on the lawn and in common areas.

If you have any questions about finding a condo or home that is right for you, please contact us.

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