The past few years have seen a steady increase in real estate value and sales. In 2015, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there were 5,250,000 sales of existing homes. In the same year 510,000 homes were sold that were newly constructed, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In other words, buying a home is becoming less of a burden and more common, making it a good option especially for those seeking privacy or looking to start a family.
But purchasing a home isn’t the only option for those looking for a new place to live. Apartments offer one avenue, but for many, an apartment doesn’t offer the privacy, freedom, or equity that a home does. Still, if purchasing a home is too big of a leap, there’s a good middle ground between buying a home and renting an apartment: condominiums, or condos for short. And over the past few years more and more people have been looking into condos for sale.
Condos are individually owned houses or apartments that belong to a single condo association which oversees the entirety of the complex and owns the property as a whole, including the land, non-residential buildings, etc. Here are five upsides to looking into condos for sale as opposed to homes.
1) Cutting Cost
In general, it’s cheaper to purchase a condo than it is to purchase a home. Unless you’re looking into luxury condos for sale, this is usually the case across the board. This also means that relative to their location (i.e. suburban area, urban area), it’s cheaper to move into a condo than a home, which tend to cost more in more highly populated areas. While there are additional condo association fees on top of mortgage costs for condos, the overall cost still remains on average lower than that of a home mortgage. Plus, most of these fees go right back into improving and maintaining the condo complex anyway, meaning it’s a worthwhile cost.
2) All the Activities
While not all condo complexes are the same, many tend to have a variety of things to do right on the premises. For instance, a condo owner might have access to an indoor and outdoor pool, tennis court, gym, and more. These amenities are in part paid for by the owner in their condo association fees, but these fees are relatively minimal when compared to the cost of purchasing one’s own pool or basketball court.
3) Cultivating Community
With these shared activity spaces come shared experiences. It’s easy to become a part of a community when there are things to do alongside the other people living in the condo complex. For more socially active people, this sense of community is a major upside to living in a condo complex. And for more reserved folks, there’s no obligation to befriend everyone in the community, but the option is there nonetheless.
4) Minimal Maintenance
As previously mentioned, the condo association takes care of the property it owns, including the lawns and amenities like pools and fitness areas. While the house or apartment is still the responsibility of the owner, there is far less to worry about or take care of outside the living space itself. Overgrown trees or bushes, for instance, are taken care of by the association at no additional cost aside from the regular association fees.
While living in a condo doesn’t offer quite as much freedom as living in a home does, it comes pretty close. Condo owners are still able to decorate, reorganize, paint, and change aspects of the condo as long as it falls within the association’s guidelines. Plus, with so many things to do within the complex, condos offer more freedom in some ways than houses do. And condos certainly allow more freedom than apartments, where most things need to be left as is in the duration of one’s time living there.
People looking for condos for sale can start with a simple Internet search of nearby properties. From there, it’s a good idea to seek the advice of a real estate agent. Everyone is different and prefer different lifestyles. For many, condos offer a happy medium between full home ownership and apartment rental. It wouldn’t be surprising if condo sales continued to increase over the next few years.