3 Things to Know About Condo Living
Living in a condominium is a great choice for many people. Condos are often seen as the mid-point between single-family homes and apartments because they offer some of the best features of both housing types. However, no one should leap into buying property without knowing all the facts. Owning a condo comes with some caveats that home buyers need to know before they commit to purchasing one. Here are some of the most important things to consider about purchasing and owning a condo before signing on the dotted line.
Homeowners Only Own the Home
One of the many reasons people love single-family homes is because they own both their home and the property that it’s built on. With condos, the homeowner only owns the building, while the property is owned by whomever it is that owns the condominium association. The condo owner can buy (and eventually sell) their condo as if it were a single-family home, with the only difference being that the property will not be part of the sale. Additionally, many condominium associations allow condo owners to do their own gardening if they choose to, so they can customize their home’s landscaping and boost their home's curb appeal. However, this will vary depending on the homeowners association.
Condos Are Part of a Homeowners Association
Like some single-family home neighborhoods have a homeowners association (HOA), all condos are part of their own HOA. It’s the HOA’s job to collect association fees from the households in the neighborhood, most commonly once per month. Typical HOA fees can be $200-$300 per month, but this will vary depending on the neighborhood. An HOA will use these fees to pay for various costs for the people living in the neighborhood, such as lawn care, new roofs for buildings, a community pool or other amenities, and so on. HOAs often have rules that neighbors will have to follow as well, such as where homeowners are allowed to park, how many cars per building, and the types of animals that can be kept as pets. Prospective buyers should always ask to read through an HOA’s rules before purchasing a condo.
Condos Appreciate Slower
When choosing which type of home to purchase, many home buyers will look at appreciation. Appreciation refers to how a property’s value will increase over time, so it’s important to consider, especially if the buyer knows they will want to sell the home one day. On average, condos appreciate at a slightly slower rate than single-family homes do, and this difference can be partially attributed to the lack in ownership of the property that the home is built on. However, every condo and single-family home is going to be different, and one condo may appreciate a lot faster than another.
Choosing between a condo and a single-family home is a big decision, and both housing types have their advantages. A condo can be a great choice, but the buyer needs to know all the quirks that come with owning a condo before jumping in to ensure that they’re prepared for the differences.