Is Condo Living A Wise Choice For You?

By: Cary Z. Francis

The answer always lies in terms of what are you needs and resources. There is nothing in essence new about Condos or Condo projects. People around the world for eons have owned property in a large building and shared costs such as maintenance, taxes and security services.,

Two factors have driven the popularity of Condos in America and Canada in the last several years. They are lifestyle and cost.

Lifestyle is a factor in Condo choice. People have equity in house. A house requires maintenance - yard work, cutting grass in the summer and if you life in a colder climate - such as Minnesota, North Dakota or Manitoba Canada clearing snow in the winter off your walkway and driveway. True you can hire workers to do this work - but it requires coordination and the workers may not be reliable and responsible. If you wish to travel as a snowbird in the winter Condo living may be ideal for you. Someone else takes care of those headaches for you. In addition there is a measure of security both with other neighbors and often a security service.

Similarly if you wish to travel a vacation condo may be a good choice for you. The services are taken care of - whether it yard work, overall maintenance site security.

Even if you had bought a house rather than a condo the practical logistics of finding workers and arrangements are exceptionally difficult in a practical sense to arrange long distance both in finding workers and coordinating arrangements and payment as well as checking on completion and quality of any work done. True phone call costs may be small compared to what they used to be - but overall the costs of any project from start to finish may be much higher than they normally will be. As well take into account the time and aggravation factors. A vacation condo purchased by yourself or shared with a group whether it be friends or family may be the answer.

What about renting an apartment? An apartment is not a condo. Simple as that. Apartments, in our society, are meant for temporary living. Up until recently if a person was starting or need temporary accommodation and apartment was generally the answer. If those people had more funds they would generally purchase a home for equity. Why throw money out the window they would say. True with vast increases in housing prices due to low mortgage interest rates the rules of apartments being the main option for temporary living for many may well change.

It can be said that generally one or two people inhabit an apartment. An apartment again is meant for temporary living. People go to work, come home and watch TV. That's about it. There is generally not the living space or storage space that you find in a condo. Walls are generally thinner so that the sounds of your neighbors may drift in. In hotels or condos a higher standard of construction is generally planned for than in rental apartment blocks.

In one case a bright young son - a manager yet , convince his father that with a "Gee Dad do you realize that if you sold your house and moved into an apartment that you could basically live for free on the interest. Sounded good to the financially inexperienced parent who had never tried apartment living. The older couple quickly found out two areas of concern. First there really was no family area for the grandchildren to play in, secondly the wife was a very proud and experience cook and was now restricted to a small galley kitchen. .This experiment in condo living collapsed in short order with a threat by the wife of marriage separation. The now smarter home owner had to basically replace his previous home. This was done at a fair cost which seems to escalate daily in his mind. To add to the humor, his new house is across the street from the older home. To add salt to the wound previous home recently had a new owner who has taken to complaining to the original owner. In this case if the home owner wanted a simpler lifestyle wished to downsize or had less maintenance concerns when traveling a condo with a layout and size relating to the families needs might have been a much more intelligent choice.

Most of the answers in life are actually quite simple and revolve around basics. What are your needs and financial resources? Is condo living a wise choice for you and your family at this point in your lives and careers?

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