Are you a renter that’s ready to make the leap to buying? Not sure if that leap should be to a condo or single-family home? Here are 5 reasons to buy a condo:
- They’re generally cheaper than a single-family home. As long as you aren’t purchasing an oceanfront condominium or buying in a luxury complex – which are developments made for people who love the urban lifestyle, but want higher end details – you will find that condos cost less than single-family homes.
- You can decorate all you want. If you rent a condo, chances are the owner won’t let you paint just any color or put in the fixtures you prefer. With a condo you own, there may be some restrictions on the exterior of the unit, because it’s shared with the other condo owners in the building, but inside you can choose whatever paint colors you want, go modern or conservative with the light fixtures, install your favorite cabinets and countertops, etc. You can make it all your own.
- Condos are low maintenance. As a condo owner, you share the building with the owners of the other units. That means you all share in the costs of maintaining it and the grounds attached to it. Depending on the owners association, amenities, etc. this may include trash pick-up, common grounds maintenance, cable, swimming pool maintenance, etc. You pay for part of it, but someone else handles it. If you owned a house, all of that responsibility would fall on you.
- Many complexes have amenities. Swimming pools, fitness rooms, tennis courts, club houses, etc. Some can be almost like little resorts, restaurant and all. Of course, the more amenities, the higher the cost.
- Walk Scores are often higher. Want to be within walking distance of your favorite coffee shop, the local beach, the movie theater, or dining? Condos are often the best way to get yourself moved in close enough to these places that you don’t need to use a car.
Of course, condos aren’t made for everyone. Here’s 5 reasons not to buy a condo:
- You share walls with the other units. That means you may hear every fight your neighbors have, and they may hear yours. Knowing someone is that close can be a big deterrent to home owners. However, if you can adjust, it may be worth it to your wallet.
- Condos can be more expensive than single-family homes. This all depends on the complex you purchase in – it’s location, amenities, owner association, etc. Buying an oceanfront condo is just as costly as buying a single-family home inland. That’s why many condos at the beach are second homes that are rented out when not in use by the owner. You also need to consider that condo complexes can be held to different standards than single-family homes and there isn’t always a reserve for paying for repairs and upgrades. When these situations arise, the costs are divided among all of the owners.
- Market values don’t go up as quickly as single-family homes. However, instead of paying your landlord’s mortgage and never getting that money back, you’re paying your own mortgage, which will benefit your own finances.
- They aren’t as pet-friendly. A good number of condo complexes have dog runs, where you’re required to clean up after your pet, but there are often limits on the dog’s size. If you have a large pet, you may not be able to buy a condo.
- There’s little outdoor space. Some condo buildings have common lawns, but they don’t allow you to plant gardens or let your animals run, unless otherwise noted. If you’re in need of a private yard or outdoor space, you may need to purchase a small house instead.
Financially, buying instead of renting makes more sense. So, if you’re considering buying a home, good for you! Just make sure you read ALL of the documents associated with the unit you’re interested in prior to a final purchase commitment so you’re 100% sure it fits your lifestyle and pocketbook. If you’re shopping the Wilmington area and would like to learn more about your buying options, give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page. We’re happy to provide some insight into local condo complexes vs. single-family homes.