Considering a Condo or Townhome
So you have thought it through and are now considering buying that perfect condo or townhome? Condo ownership is completely different than owning a house, condos also comes with a different set of responsibilities, rules, and expectations. Perhaps you are trying to find that perfect vacation home, trying to escape from the suburbs or wanting to get away from a lot of the daily chores that are custom to a traditional residential home. It will be important to look at the pros and cons of condo and townhome ownership before making the final decision to finalize the purchase.
There are a lot of benefits to the condo lifestyle, let’s save that list for last. Let’s talk about the drawbacks: first it’s important to understand, buying a condo means you are buying the condo only – that’s it. Generally condos have no land, no front or back yard, and in some cases no garage. You basically are buying the inside of the unit from the walls in, that’s it. For many home owners this is seen as a bonus. Alot of home owners don’t want the hassle of pulling out the lawn mower on their days off, or the yearly maintenance of your gutters when those fall leaves start falling from the trees?
Form many consumers who are used to the freedoms that come with home ownership, the new HOA regulations and fees that come with condo ownership can be quite shocking. With that said, if you are making the jump from a home to a condo, you very well might like the idea of having an HOA governing schedule and set fees instead of sudden surprises (additional expenses for building repairs or upgrades can arise, but those fees more times than not are shared between the units). Also, HOA guidelines (Covenants, Restrictions & Conditions) means you can rest assured that your neighbor will not be painting the exterior of their condo a nice shade of pink with purple polka dots. You must take into consideration of the financial commitment of an HOA and fully understand the rules and guidelines in your chosen development.
Generally, a home buyer’s biggest concern with buying a condo or townhome is the shared walls. What this means, each unit is neighbor dependent. You probably don’t want to move in next store to an up and coming rock band, however townhome and condo construction has done a good job addressing wall insulation for sound proofing. For good reasons you may want to consider spending some time in the building you are considering buying. It’s also recommended you take some time to meet the potential new neighbors to whom you will be living next to.
Becoming a new condo owner, you automatically become a new member of your condo’s home owner association. Home owner associations play many roles in the community including dealing with owner disputes, enforcing the rules and bylaws of the HOA, along with the maintenance and repairs of the complex. It’s always a good idea and in some cases it’s mandatory to receive permission from the HOA to complete any renovations on your unit or renting your unit out. The condo association has an election to appoint board members. This gives you the chance to become involved in the governing of the complex if you choose to do so.
As promised earlier, let’s talk about all the upsides to owning a condo or townhome. A high percentage of today’s highly demanded developments are located centrally, close to the local hot spots of any given area. Being close the Rocky Mountains, close proximity to your office, or even the local golf course? You can always find a condo or townhome for that. Add in desired amenities that are excellent selling points in many condominium complexes (swimming pools, hot tubs, fitness facilities, and multimedia rooms) and your lifestyle has become easier and much more convenient. At a more affordable price tag than your average home, the options for condo ownership are virtually limitless.
Retire your snow shovel and lawn mower and get ready for a new way of life. If you desire to have fewer responsibilities, or looking for a great vacation home, a condo could be the perfect solution.