When in the market to purchase a home, you might consider buying a condo – and the question may arise – should I buy a condo or a house? This article will address some of the pros and cons to purchasing a condo. I hope to provide some knowledge so that you are best equipped to make that decision – should I buy a condo?
PRICING: Condos tend to be less expensive than single family homes; however, what most buyers don’t consider are the association fees that are added onto the monthly payment and that are taken into consideration with your loan. A pro could be that a lower purchase price means lower property taxes.
MAINTENANCE: For those who don’t have time to maintain the exterior of a home or a yard, a condo may be a great option for you! With the association fees many condo associations will take care of the upkeep and maintenance of the common areas and exterior of the building. This is information I can always pull and share when viewing communities and it’s something you should look into when comparing communities.
AMENITIES: Many condo communities have some great amenities such as pools, workout facilities, dog parks and more. You collectively pay for these things with your neighbors but they can be a great added bonus.
SHARING: If you aren’t into sharing walls, ceilings and floors or if you are in need of a large, private yard, a condo may not be the right fit for you. Additional expenses within the community development may be shared with condo owners. It’s important to ask about these and review association financial statements to see where funds are being allocated.
SECURITY: Some condo associations have their own security which may make you feel safer.
PARKING + STORAGE: Something to consider when looking at condos is parking and storage. You may have your own designated space or garage, but something you might want to consider is how many guests you will have – where they would park, as well as how much storage you might need.
LENDING: When it comes to a mortgage for a condo – there are a few different criteria checkboxes than a single family residence. If you are getting an FHA loan, you’ll need to ensure the condo you are interested in meets the FHA guidelines for that community. When a bank lends on a condo, they want to make sure they see the associations profit and loss statement as well as getting information on the percentage of owner occupied units to rentals.
SOCIAL GATHERINGS: Some condo communities have social gatherings to get to know your neighbors. Events might include pool parties, bbq and other get-togethers.
RULES: As with any neighborhood, there are CCR rules and it’s important to look into specifics of the condo rules regarding noise, parking and the like.
VALUE OF YOUR INVESTMENT: Because you own a condo that is part of a whole development your home value is based on other condo values within that development. This can be similar to single family homes within a neighborhood as well. With a condo – if the neighbors stop paying into the association fees and the community suffers, your property value can go down.
So, should you buy a condo or a house? If you enjoyed this article, you might be interested in our First Time Homebuyer Tips. If you have further questions or want to explore condo options in the Greater Sacramento area, feel free to reach out!