Buying condominiums is all the rage these days, partly because the recent U.S. economic recession caused many property values to fall, and real estate investors from all over the globe swooped in to take advantage of the market. But now that the economy is finally starting to become healthy again, average Americans are taking a new interest in buying condos — not necessarily as huge investments to be rented out, but just as affordable places to live. So if you’re one of these people, and you’re starting to think that buying a condo is a good choice for you, here are just a few things to know before buying a condo:
- First, in terms of ownership, a condo is like a crossover between an apartment and a house. Like an apartment, you’ll only be responsible for your separate unit, although you’ll be part of a larger community and you may have to pay extra fees for exterior maintenance tasks and extra facilities (like gyms and pools). However, unlike an apartment, you own your condo rather than rent it. For all intents and purposes, you’re a homeowner and you have permanent responsibility for your condo (so if you’re wondering where to buy a condo, it doesn’t matter very much, just as long as you really like the area).
- Second, condos tend to have more emphasis on community than apartments and single houses have. Many condo associations will have stricter rules than an apartment building will have, so before buying a condo, it’s important to make sure that you agree with all of these rules.
- And third, when comparing condos vs houses, many people choose to go with a condo because these tend to be more affordable than individual houses. That being said, condominiums with a lot of unfinished units or complaints from unhappy owners are red flags — not just warning you that the living environment in general could be unpleasant, but that lenders will be less likely to help you finance your condo (meaning that you’ll be paying more for it).
It’s always a good idea to keep an open mind when shopping around for a condo, and to ask as many questions as you feel are necessary. Buying a condo is a big decision, and you should be confident in your purchase! More like this article.