3 Reasons to Buy a Condo – and 3 Reasons to Beware

3 Reasons to Buy a Condo – and 3 Reasons to Beware


Condo living isn’t for everyone, so make sure you weigh the pros and cons before moving in. (Getty Images)

If you’re contemplating buying a house, especially in an urban area, you may be asking yourself: Is buying a condo a better deal?



What Is a Condo?

A condominium, which is like a hybrid between an apartment and a house, is property that you can purchase and own outright. A condo offers some similar aspects of apartment living. For instance, many condos are adjacent to others, so owners often share a wall and live in close proximity. And if you live in a high-rise building, your condo may be located above or below someone else’s home.

If you talk to friends or family members who live in condominiums, you’ll quickly find out that many people love the condo life, while some people wish they bought a house instead.

Toying with the idea of committing to a condo? Here are top benefits – and some drawbacks – to factor into the decision-making process.

Pro: You won’t have a yard to mow. This is a big appeal of owning a condo. There will be no mowing because you’ll pay dues to a condominium association, which will take care of most of your maintenance needs.

“I have not lifted a snow shovel or mowed a lawn in 12 years. It’s been marvelous,” says John Goodman, who owns the public relations firm John Goodman PR. He and his wife owned a house in Scarsdale, New York, before moving to the village of Tuckahoe, New York. As for their condo, he says, “It was one of the best life decisions we’ve ever made.”

Con: Having the outdoor workload managed isn’t always easy. Some condominiums are underfunded and don’t have the money to pay for regular maintenance. It’s important to ask a lot of questions and make sure the association is well-run before buying a condo, and find out how many condos the association manages. If a dozen members struggle with paying dues in any given month and your community has 500 condos, you aren’t likely to feel the impact. However, if you live in a community of 10 condos and two people fall behind, there goes 20 percent of the association’s budget.


Pro: It’s cheaper than buying a…

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