Living in the Upper Valley provides home buyers with a variety of housing options including new construction, older homes, multi-family and condominiums. Many first time home buyers or busy professionals will weigh the pros and cons of buying a condo vs. a single family house. Condo life can have a lot of benefits but it’s important to make sure you understand the whole picture when choosing a condo.
Buying a Condo
Consider the Costs – Condominiums often boast a reasonable price point and without the responsibility of property maintenance. It can be easy to assume you will come out ahead financially. While a condo can be a good value you have to make sure to consider the monthly association fees when calculating your monthly mortgage costs. These fees vary depending on the size of your unit and what is included in the fee. Typically the condo fee will cover your water and sewer costs, property maintenance such as landscaping and plowing and often heat will be included. The condo fee covers important costs and you need to factor these costs into your budget from the start because the condo fee won’t go away and over time, it may increase.
Major Repairs Will Still Come Up – There is a misconception that condo owners avoid high priced, unexpected home repairs. It’s true that a portion of the condo fee is often placed in a reserve fund to cover such expenses however there could be a major repair that requires an additional contribution from the owner. In the event that the condo building needed a high priced repair, the association may need to issue a special assessment where the cost of the repair is divided among the owners to cover the expense. This is not a common occurrence but it does happen. The good news is that you won’t have to choose the contractor or oversee the work the way you would in a single family home.
Community Feeling – When you live in a condo setting there is a lot of shared space. From taking out the trash to walking to your car, you are going to see your neighbors. This can build a sense of community and provide a nice social environment. Depending on your personality you may love this lifestyle or you may hate it. Condo living involves close neighbors and you will hear each other from time to time.
Resale Value – A condo may be a good choice for you but it is typically a little harder to sell a condo vs. a home of similar size. This isn’t a reason to avoid buying a condo but it’s something to consider if you’re not 100% confident in buying a condo rather then a house.
Ultimately, only you can make the decision of buying a condo vs. buying a house. Take your time to consider both options and how they fit into your current lifestyle and your plans for the future. When you seek a mortgage loan through Title Mortgage our team will get specific about the type of property you are buying and help you properly evaluate all of the costs associated with the purchase. Your loan officer will help you determine how much you can spend on a mortgage monthly to include the association fees and taxes on the condo. The sooner you apply for a loan, the better understanding you will have of your budget when buying a condo or a home.