A condo, which is short for condominium is a cross between an apartment and house. In essence, it is a small house that is connected to other houses like an apartment. When looking to buy house, especially if you’re a first time buyer there are many advantages of owning a condo instead. Before buying a condo you should know the differences between that and a house. It’s impossible to make an informed decision without having all the facts laid out in front of you to begin with. This article will show you the advantages and several disadvantages of buying a condo.
Most condo complexes have a common green area but that is taken care of by whoever the HOA hires. There’s no personal grass that the owners have to take care of like a yard so there is no worry about the cost of water it takes to maintain the grass, or critters that might sneak in or even just the hassle of taking care of a garden. Most condos will have a homeowners association that will maintain the landscaping and all the owners have to do is pay the fee.
On the other hand, there is no yard. Usually there is a small balcony or porch but no gated outside area for children or pets to play in. Many times people move because they are wanting a bigger area to play in. These days, it’s not that safe to let children go out in the front to play and having a walled in area that is big enough and nice enough for them to play in gives the parent peace of mind.
Also, while the HOA does maintain landscape, there’s always a chance they could find something along the outside of your property that is not approved, as this falls within their jurisdiction. Being on the receiving end of an HOA assessment is never a fun time. Everything that you have outside must be HOA approved before it being allowed to be there or they can fine you or revoke privileges to the amenities.
The cost of a condo, just like with a house, depends on the size. A condo and townhomes can vary in size just like houses but the difference is the property values of the neighborhoods and often the cost of living are less in a complex rather than a neighborhood.
However, you are usually getting less square footage and that is why it is cheaper.
When you were living in a neighborhood it’s not quite as common to know your neighbors and feel that sense of community as it is when living in a condo and townhomes. Living in such close proximity to others gives you no choice but to build a relationship with them.
Having said that, this is why some people choose not to live in a condo and townhomes. If you get stuck connected to the condo of someone you do not get along with, it can make life very difficult. Knowing your neighbors can be a blessing or a curse.
Some condos and townhomes offer the benefit of including some of the utilities into the price of the mortgage. For example, trash and water are often included in the mortgage.
There is really no downside to this except that often times there is no gas in a condo and townhomes because of price.
Usually condos are located within walking distance to stores and restaurants and other places. Some have amenities such as pools and gyms. A condo and townhomes are known for being built in urban areas so they are always in close proximity to places of interest.
A condo is a smaller place where you don’t have to maintain the outside of the home and there’s bound to be less upkeep and responsibility of home maintenance inside. In a house you’re responsible for both inside and outside and there’s usually more to do in a house. If you are a busy person, that much work may not be conducive to your schedule.
Seeing these pros and cons will hopefully help you to make an informed decision before deciding on buying a townhome, condo or a house.