8 Things to Know About Owning a Condo Before You Sign

Owning a Condo

When deciding to buy a place to live, a condo is an excellent, affordable, and convenient option. Condos can also be found in great areas, such as those at the fly in communities in florida. Before buying a condo, you should know a few things to help you decide if a condo is the right choice for you. 

House vs condo costs

Owning a Condo

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A condo is often cheaper than a single-family home but will also be smaller. Condos usually have maintenance crews and HOAs, which can help save you a lot of money on maintenance costs you would otherwise have with a house. 

Condos are a great place for many people to buy their first property when they cannot yet afford a house, invest in real estate, or downgrade and downsize from a larger home. 

HOA

Most condo owners pay a monthly fee for things like amenities, maintenance, and repairs. These fees are often paid to a Homeowner Association (HOA). The HOA also probably has an insurance policy for the building that you will help pay for. 

An HOA can also set rules and restrictions for all of the condo residents. The HOA contracts are the law of the building, and not obeying the HOA can result in you being fined, forced to comply, or even sued. These rules may include things such as limiting the kinds of renovations you can do and even dictating the type of mailbox you have.

HOA fees may also cover some utilities such as water or trash pick up. 

Amenities

Owning a Condo

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Condos are considered suitable investments and rental properties because they often offer many amenities, such as a pool, outdoor tennis and basketball courts, and a gym. Amenities are also where the landscaping and other outdoor maintenance come in.  

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When you are looking into condos, be sure to see what kind of amenities they offer. Be careful not to go for a place with many amenities you will not use, or you may find yourself overpaying in HOA and condo fees. 

Condos are often located in urban areas and may be more conveniently located next to city centers, stores, and banks. 

If you want to meet new people and make new friends, a condo is perfect for you since you can meet people in the community spaces like the pool and gym or be closer to the city, where you can meet up with friends. 

Privacy

If you value your privacy and do not like interacting with your neighbors, then a condo may not be the best option for you. When living in a condo, you share walls with your neighbors and are likely to see them more often in shared spaces such as a lounge, gym, or pool. 

On the other hand, condos can be a great place to get to know your neighbors and be more community-oriented since you live in the same area and share so much. Be sure to look at your condo’s community and culture to decide if it suits your lifestyle.

Insurance 

Owning a Condo

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While a condo HOA may have insurance included in your fees, it might not be enough, and you may need condo insurance. Luckily, condo insurance is much cheaper than homeowners insurance since you are insuring your things rather than the building. 

Be sure to research your HOA insurance to ensure it covers everything you need, and get your own insurance to fill in any gaps. 

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Resale 

If you are using your condo as a real estate investment or starter home, it is good to know the resale value. Often condos are harder to sell because of strict HOAs, and interested buyers struggle with finding lending opportunities. 

Lending

Finding avenues to secure funding for purchasing a condo can take time and effort. Lenders often have more strict requirements for condo lending, such as ensuring a large percentage of the units are owned by tenants.

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While the mortgages for condos are typically much lower than home mortgages, interest rates for condo mortgages are often much higher. 

Inspection

Whenever you buy a property, you want to do an inspection to ensure that everything is okay and working the way it should be. Condos are no different, and you need to do an inspection before buying. 

When doing an inspection, be sure to look at the unit you plan to purchase, ensure all amenities work correctly, or there is a solid plan to get them working again and that the HOA is spending fees appropriately. 

You may also want to check whether HOA fees rise regularly and ensure these fees fit into your budget.

Before you go

Investing in a condo can be a wonderful experience, but before you sign the contract and close on the property, make sure you find the right choice for your home.

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