Condominium living: 3 Benefits and 3 Drawbacks

Sep / 05 / 2016

Some people live in condominiums and love it there whiles others regret ever purchasing or renting them. We decided to look into reasons why people love the condominium life and look at why those same reasons are a put off to others.

A condominium, frequently shortened to condo when it refers to residential buildings, is a form of multifaceted real property tenure. Specified units of the property are separately owned, with the remainder of the property collectively owned. The areas collectively owned include hallways, walkways, laundry rooms, etc.; as well as common utilities and amenities, such as the HVAC system, elevators, and so on. Most condominiums are adjacent each other with owners often sharing a wall, living below or above another condominium unit, and living in very close proximity.

The question then arises for anyone looking to purchase a home; should I purchase a condominium or a suburban property?

No lawn to mow. Wonderful! Who wouldn’t love this?! No need to mow because you will be paying fees to the condominium association so you wouldn’t have to bother about mowing the lawn, ever! Moving into a new place has its own challenges; furnishing the house or switching things around indoors to suit your taste can be tiresome so the relief of not having to add tending the lawns is always welcome. No need to bother about landscaping, maintaining your backyard, or any roof or pipe repairs. Paying the condominium fee is always great versus having to think about these things.

Buyer be wary. Having the outdoor workload managed isn't always peaches and cream, however. Some condominiums may be underfunded and hence have little cash in contributions to pay for critical capital intensive improvements across board such as plastering and wood repair, painting or re-roofing. There is the not-so-surprising matter of condominium owners being unable to pay association fees on time. It’s very important to ensure you dig deep to know the state of affairs of the condominium association of which you are planning to become a part of.

It’s cheaper than buying a comparable house. Obviously, the cost of a condominium versus a house depends on the size of the home, the property values of the neighborhood and the cost of living in the area. But when you take two properties with similar dimensions, in the same area and generally the same facilities, what you realize is that the cost of rent payment or an outright purchase of the condo will probably be about 65%-80% of the cost of a single family home.

Buyer be wary. The price of the condo isn't all you'll pay for. There are likely to be association levies; association levies would typically be charged based on the location and whether you want a plush or basic condominium community. If a condominium is say, secured 24-hours a day by guards and has an Olympic-sized swimming pool, then tenants would have to weigh-in to help pay for the extras. You could also find yourself on the receiving end of an assessment. What's that, you say? Every month, a portion of your condo fees goes into the development's reserves. That's where the condo association gets the money to fund occasional projects, such as repainting the building’s exterior. If an expense can't be delayed – let's say a pipe burst and there isn't enough in the reserve to cover repairs – condo owners could be asked to pay an assessment, which can range from a minor pittance to thousands.

The communal feel. Many homeowners say this about their neighbourhoods but this differs quite a bit from the feel a condominium owner would have. Condominium owners would typically live in much closer proximity than suburban homeowners because suburban homes have relatively larger lawns or greens separating homes. You are more likely to meet people when putting out the rubbish than when doing so in a regular neighourhood.

Buyer be wary. This feel of community though is the exact same reason why some people also dislike the idea of condominium living. You ordinarily can’t choose who your neighbors will be and if they are bad, you are stuck with them for as long as both of you will possess the property. Imagine waking up to a neighbor’s bash at midnight of a day you really need a rest. This can and does happen in normal suburban homes but only this time the person’s living room is sharing a wall with your bedroom! .

So, it’s never that straight forward but we hope the article has giving you a few things to think about before deciding on the kind of home you will want to purchase.

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