Thinking of buying a home in the near future? A condo might be just what you’re looking for! However, condominiums aren’t for everyone. Condos are great for first-time buyers who need an affordable housing option. They’re also suitable for empty-nesters who want a smaller attached home. If you are willing to put up with the restrictions of condo living as well as reap the economic benefits, then condo living might very well be for you.

Contrary to what some might think, a condominium is not a type of building. In actuality, the building that a condo is located in does not matter. What matters is the way the ownership is constructed. When you purchase a detached home such as a condo an invisible line runs along the border of your property. This separates what belongs to you and what belongs to your neighbor.

What exactly do you own when you buy a condo?

With a condo, you essentially get a deed to inside of your unit and everything filling it. You also share ownership of the land which the project is located and the high-rise building that contains your unit. You own a portion of the roof, exterior building walls, foundation, the garage, hallways, elevators, etc. That parts of a condo that extend beyond the units are common areas, and you share ownership with all of the other condo owners.

Before you buy a condo, it’s crucial to find out exactly what percentage of joint ownership you will have in the entire complex. Condominiums use several different methods to establish these percentages. The easiest way is to give each owner an equal share of ownership in the entire development.

Condo advantages                                                                 

  • They cost less to maintain than detached homes.
  • Condos offer amenities that you wouldn’t get in a detached house
  • They increase your buying power.
  • They are ideal homes for empty-nesters.
  • Condos offer a sense of community and security.
  • They usually have convenient transportation options within steps.

Condo drawbacks

  • Condos offer less privacy.
  • They are legally complex.
  • Condos rules can be overly restrictive.
  • They are financially complex.
  • Large complexes tend to have a hotel-like, impersonal feel.
  • Monthly building association fees can be very costly.

Condos make the most sense for people who don’t want the hassles of maintenance and operation. It’s not recommended that you buy a condo if you are planning to purchase a detached home in a few years. It doesn’t make financial sense, and you would be better off waiting to buy the home that you really want.

If you decide to buy a condo, one of the most important pieces of information for you to know is the value of your home. You can rely on a free home value report from Neighborhood IQ to learn what your home is worth in order to ask for an appropriate price.

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