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Why the convenience of a condo might be right for you

February 27, 2015

If you are planning to relocate to a new area, or maybe even across town, there is a good chance you know what you are looking for. A move can be an exciting time, as well as refreshing. But sometimes a house isn't the way to go.

There are many differences between a house and a condo.

Why a condo might be right for you

Condos offer many advantages to homeowners over houses, especially for first-time homebuyers. Sure, you won't have a front yard or back patio with a condo, but the upside is you won't have to cut the grass or shovel snow.

Additionally, condos come with many amenities, such as proximity to working districts. If walking to work is your thing, then a nearby condo might be the way to go. Additionally, condos sometimes are equipped with workout facilities or dry cleaning services, saving you time on those things that have to be done, but the rain or snow might prevent you from doing so if you lived in a house.

Homeowners association

There are also differences in pricing between a condo and a house. Condos tend to be cheaper, for starters. But these costs aren't just affiliated with the price of purchasing the unit. Less upkeep is required when it comes to owning a condo. However, other fees will arise that aren't affiliated with owning a house, such as homeowners association fees.

When living in a condo, the building's owners put together what is called an association. Though every association is unique depending on its members, it is standard that you pay a monthly fee. These costs are for general building maintenance and upkeep. If there are many units in a building, the fees are most likely pretty reasonable. But again, this varies from building to building.

What is also important to know is that home insurance is not the same across the board, so when living in a condo, insurance companies are going to be interested in different risks. For instance, the chances of your place flooding or ice damaging your pipes in a condo building are greatly reduced. Additionally, some insurance companies will look to the association as a whole instead of dealing with individual units.

This can be beneficial and keep costs lower than expenses tied to owning a house. But this is not always the case. Again, it depends on the association. If you move into a building with an old roof that might need to be replaced in the coming years, the insurance rates might be higher for the whole building.

Additionally, there are items you will no doubt cover on your own, as group coverage tends to be pretty basic. It still might be cheaper in the long run, especially considering the other money you are likely to save in a condo.

Know what you are getting into

The best course of action is to do your research on both ends. When looking at condos, find out as much as you can about the homeowners associations affiliated with each one. Not only should you determine the costs of being a member, but also find out how they handle building issues, such as repairs, or guest policies. You should also seek different home insurance quotes related to the different buildings. Get all of the information so that you can make the best choice.

A condo might be a great investment for you, especially if you are a new buyer. It will help you get your feet wet with owning a piece of property that doesn't require the same amount of upkeep as a house.