After living in condos for the better part of my life, I can honestly say that I can speak with authority about reasons not to buy a condo. Let’s be clear…there are many reasons that condo ownership is so popular but when considering any home purchase it’s wise to know the pros and cons relating to ownership of any property.
Please understand that I’m not here to dissuade you from condo ownership. As a real estate agent since 2004 my job is to encourage and support your efforts to buy a home but it's only fair to let you know a couple of downsides to condo living, I know what most of my clients have enjoyed and not enjoyed about living as part of condominium association and here are the top two reasons against condo ownership that crop up more often than not.
1.) You Are Not Alone
Owning a condo means that you own your condo outright and a portion of the land on which the property sits. As an owner, you’re also a member of an association of owners that governs the policies of the building; oversees expenses per a set budget; and, most importantly, has voting rights to determine the direction and management of the association. Bottom line? You are not alone in your ownership; you collaborate with a group of owners in order to effectively manage the association and the overall property. For the most part, being part of an association shouldn’t give you much reason to worry but there are cases where associations sometimes have to resort to outside legal assistance to resolve issues.
2.) Familiarity Breeds Contempt
If you’re the sort that likes to keep to herself, mind your own business and enjoys quiet and solitude, then be forewarned. More often than not you will be sharing a wall (as in the case of side-by-side townhomes) or have your neighbors on the floor above or below you. Needless to say, not much can happen in your neighbor’s home that you won’t be aware of. Crying babies, parties, piano lessons, running dogs and loud radios are just a few of the annoyances that you’d have to endure. On the plus side, many condo owners actually like knowing that a neighbor is just a few steps away in case of an emergency or simply to have friends in the making sharing home ownership responsibilities with you.
As I’ve already mentioned, the majority of condo owners love living in condos. You get to share expenses of home ownership; the affordability of a condo vs a single-family house; most condos tend to be built in desirable urban neighborhoods; and, knowing that for the most part your neighbors are as interested as you are in maintaining the property in good shape.
If you are considering the purchase of a condo, I’d suggest speaking with a Realtor with condo-buying experience. A good agent is there to help you navigate through the entire home-buying process and one with condo experience can answer all your questions before your take that big step towards condo living.