There are a many benefits to owning your own condo, however, along with the benefits, there can be unforeseen annoyances. If you are thinking about making a purchase in the near future, don’t forget to consider the ways condo living could affect your life for the good and the bad.
Costs for the condo owner usually don’t stop at the mortgage. You’ll also have to think about things like monthly condo fees and homeowner’s insurance. The association fees pay for things such as general upkeep and insurance of the condo complex. So if the gate to your complex’s parking garage breaks, the fees you and your neighbors pay will go toward fixing it. These fees also pay for the condo’s insurance, which covers major situations that affect the complex as a whole. It’s important to note that these fees never go away.
Make sure you’re familiar with all your fees up front to avoid any unforeseen holes in your monthly budget. Also, owner fees typically don’t cover things such as theft from or damage to your individual unit. To cover these, you’ll also need to get your own homeowner’s insurance policy.
Do not to forget the social aspect of living in a condo. Different complexes work well for different kinds of people, so get to know your complex as well as your prospective neighbors to make sure that they’re a good fit for you – if you’re easing into retirement, it might not be a great idea to buy a condo next to a bunch of hard-partying college kids or vice versa. Shared gym/fitness facilities, party rooms and parking are all things that you need to be aware of before you purchase to avoid unnecessary stress.
Space is Limited
For those downsizing from a house to a condo is a huge step. Just remember, that floor plans for each condo is different so furniture may need to be changed in order for it to fit. New curtains or blinds can be costly, so build those items into your move in budget.
Condominiums have bylaws that govern residents and make sure everyone is happy. These bylaws, also known as “covenants, conditions and restrictions” (CCR), are a legally binding document that you’ll have the chance to look over before you buy your condo. In the CCRs you’ll find information about fees, parking, pets and any other rules you will need to know.
Make Your Voice Heard
When you buy your condo, you might find that you’re not happy with certain aspects of the bylaws. If this is the case, there are ways to get things done without causing too much of a ripple. The best way to get your voice heard is to sit in on homeowners’ meetings for your complex. At these meetings, the governing body of the complex will get together to discuss issues that have come up.