Many people debate over whether to buy a condo, townhome or a single-family house. There are advantages and disadvantages of both, so you need to weigh what factors are more important to you. Here are some pros and cons of owning a condo.
Pro: The most obvious pro is that condos are cheaper than single-family homes for the most part.
Con: While they are cheaper, keep in mind there are association fees with a condo, which are collected outside of the monthly mortgage payment and used toward building maintenance and amenities. Fees can be expensive and increase when extra money for maintenance is needed.
Pro: Condos are low-maintenance, because the fees cover the exterior and many of the expensive components of the structure. The maintenance you are responsible for is limited to the interior. This saves you time, because you aren’t spending weekends painting your house or mowing a lawn.
Con: All homeowners share in the decision-making process in regards to the condo building. There may be rules and restrictions associated with living there that you may not agree with.
Pro: Many condo complexes have resort-like amenities like pools, fitness centers, sometimes an outdoor grilling area or fireplace. There is a social scene, and it’s easy to make friends at a condo complex while using the amenities.
Con: Because of the close proximity of people, there can be a lack of privacy, or loud noises of nearby residents. You could get stuck with a bad neighbor.
Pro: Many condos offer gated or locked entries, doormen, or security officers. And if an emergency did happen to arise, you are surrounded by people who can help you.
Con: Condos can occasionally be difficult to sell. If there are empty units in your building, those are likely to sell first. Because condos have been hit hard by the recession, more owners are dropping out of paying their association dues. What happens in this case? Dues go up for everyone else to cover this delinquency. (Tip: Before you buy, make sure at least 90% of condos in the development are owner-occupied).
Pro: Condos are usually in urban areas, and in walking distance to shops, restaurants, etc.
Con: Condos often appreciate in value much slower than single-family homes. This is because you don’t own land, which is the biggest driver for appreciation.
Pro: Condos are great if you like to travel a lot, either for fun or for work. You don’t have to worry about some of the worries you would if you were leaving a house behind.