The Condominium Conundrum

Congratulations! You're feeling like things are coming together. You've found a job and a community that you want to call home. You feel like now's the time to find a place to call your own, a place to put some roots down.

Or maybe, Congratulations, your kids are grown and have places of their own and you're nearing retirement. Your home is bigger than you need and you can't wait to give up some of those home maintenance jobs so you have more time to do the things you love.

Or maybe, Congratulations, you're somewhere between those two stages of life. People often assume that condos are strictly for first time buyers or homeowners that are downsizing. The truth is that condo living can be the right choice for many buyers depending on the community they want to live in, the amenities they desire and what they can afford.

If you're thinking of buying a home and are trying to decide on either a condo or a traditional home, chances are you have asked others their opinion. And chances are, at least one of the people you have asked has had a very strong opinion about what you should do. Am I right? At the end of the day, you're the one buying the home so you'll have to do some thinking about what features are most important to you and then find the home that best suits you. Here are some things to consider when deciding between a house and a condo:

Cost: Condos can be less expensive than a traditional single family home. Especially in popular urban areas. However, make sure you ask about any condo fees and assessments that might come along with your purchase. Condos will usually have association fees which cover maintenance and upkeep of the building. There can also be yearly assessments to cover larger expenses like a new roof, etc.. There may be extra assessments to cover repairs if there isn't enough in the saved funds. On the flip side, houses come with repair and upkeep expenses as well, and some neighborhoods also have association fees. Just be sure to get all the facts before you decide.

Easy Care: Many people move into a condominium because they don't want to spend the time , energy or money on things like yard work and outdoor home maintenance. I mean, just think of the things you could do with that time!! Many Condominium complexes are also beautifully landscaped and taken care of because they are professionally done. Some condo communities have large shared open green spaces and others have no outdoor space at all. There are lots of options, just let your realtor know if outdoor space is important to you. And of course if gardening is your hobby and you're thinking of a condo then you'll need to make sure you choose a place that can accommodate your hobby.

Community: It's no surprise that in most condominium communities you live very close to your neighbors. You may share a common wall or even have a neighbor above or below you. Although some people could not stand the idea of having someone live so close to them, many people enjoy the close community a condo can provide. They also feel a sense of security knowing that if they are out of town or gone for a while there are several neighbor around that would be aware of something suspicious going on. Many people living alone have noted that they liked the idea of having several neighbors nearby. They said that it provided a sense of comfort and they enjoyed the social interactions with their neighbors.

Rules or Restrictions: Have you seen the Seinfeld episodes where Mr. and Mrs. Seinfeld are on the condo board running for condo president and creating and enforcing one absurd rule after another. Of course most condo presidents are not Mr. Seinfeld, however these communities can have very specific rules. So, you definitely want to read over them before purchasing your home. Some have rules against pets, outdoor decorations, number of cars that can be parked and others.

Location/Access to amenities: Condos are often a good option for people that want to live in highly desirable urban areas. Single family homes in these areas can be very expensive, where a condo in the same area might be more affordable. Buyers may choose to live in an area where they can walk to restaurants and shopping, and use public transportation if available. More and more individuals are moving back to urban areas and in many urban areas condominiums or townhouses are being built more often than single family homes.

Do you want to talk with someone about the pros and cons of owning a condo? Just give me a call and I'd be happy to help. If you're currently looking for a condo, I have a wonderful Ellisville condo listed, Click on the picture below to find out more.

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