Whats Up With Condo Living?

By: Eric Badgely

Are you curious about condominium life? When purchasing a condo you own from the walls in and share a common interest in all other areas such as driveways, sidewalks and group facilities located on the property.

There are many reasons why people prefer to purchase a condominium over a single family residence.

Price: Many condos cost less than residential homes; this allows many first time home buyers the opportunity to own property, gain equity and still afford to live their lives outside of a mortgage payment.

Maintenance: The majority of condominium complexes are maintained by the homeowners association or sub-contracted out the professional companies. The lawns and shrubs are maintained by a landscaper instead of the homeowners; dues are collected and placed into reserve accounts to cover any large expenses such as roof replacement or blacktop paving. The owner does not have to worry about exterior maintenance, unlike a single family home. This saves time in today's busy lifestyle.

Amenities: Some complexes offer amenities such as swimming pools, work out centers, community buildings and more.

Community Environment: Some people enjoy living in an environment where they are able to socialize with their neighbors.

Location: Most condominiums complexes are located within a city or town; this allows the owner the opportunity to access all the amenities of city living right at their doorsteps.

Rules and Regulations: Some rules are established to maintain order in the complex. For example a rule may be placed that does not allow large RV's or boats to be parked in from of the buildings; pet restrictions may regulate the size or type of animals that are allowed on the property, so if you are someone who does not like to be around a barking dog, a condo with pet restrictions may be right up your alley.

Although there are many advantages there are also some disadvantages that a buyer may have to consider before purchasing a condominium.

Rules and regulations: Even though the owners have the right to vote on the rules governing the complex, the majority usually wins so you might end up unhappy with rules such as pet standards or whether you can run a home based business from your unit.

Choice of neighbors: Although you rarely get to choose your neighbors when you purchase, a condominium forces a close proximity to your neighbors. Most of the time the only thing that separates you from your neighbor is a shared wall.

Dues: With the majority of condominium complexes the owners must pay a monthly fee. This payment is distributed to sub-contractors that maintain common areas, property management fees, running of the common amenities and a reserve account. This payment is on top of the regular monthly mortgage payment and utility costs.

If condo living sounds like an option for you, contact your local real estate agent to pre-view available units in your area. Be sure to make a list of your questions and concerns prior to making a purchase to be sure nothing out of the ordinary pops up after it is too late.

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