There’s a growing trend within real estate, whereby small families are now deciding to purchase a condo rather than a single family home. The reasons are many, but the main reason is that a condominium presents a less expensive entry into the housing market.
Condo ownership is without a doubt just as strong a real estate investment as a home, and at times, can be an easier resell when dipping back into the market. But condo ownership does have some common misconceptions tied to it. Search Realty addresses two of the most common misconceptions related to condo ownership.
MISCONCEPTION 1 – CONDO OWNERSHIP IS THE SAME THING AS HOME OWNERSHIP
A condo is like home ownership, but with a few differences. When you buy a condo unit, you do become a homeowner, but condo ownership involves “shared” ownership. The condo owner has every right to make changes to their unit, but doesn’t have the same freedom when it comes to common elements (i.e. lobby, pool, gym), thus a condo owner doesn’t have the same freedom with a condo as they do with a home.
Some other changes, such as plumbing and electrical, would also require viewing condo rules, as some condos require the use of a qualified professional, not someone who plans a ‘do-it-yourself’ plan. As well, there are portions of the actual unit purchased that are referred to as ‘common property’, which includes windows, patios and balconies. Thus, when it comes to common property, the condo owner doesn’t have free rein to make changes there as well.
With this shared property, the condo owner will undoubtedly have to pay condo fees, sometimes known as maintenance fees, which is used to maintain the property. And this condo fee applies, whether or not the condo owner actually even uses that shared property.
MISCONCEPTION 2 – CONDO FEES ARE TOO STEEP
Condo fees are indeed steep, and have consistently risen over the years. These fees do present an additional expense that one wouldn’t see if they owned a home. However, these fees aren’t the unnecessary drain that people are led to believe. It is important to realize that what’s included in that condo fee are generally the building’s upkeep and maintenance, but may also include heat, water, sewer, and garbage collection. In a nutshell, those condo fees are simply paying to maintain that condo lifestyle that the condo owner desired in the first place.
Moreover, condo owners shouldn’t look at condo fees as a waste, because owning a home isn’t necessarily a bargain when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. There are expenses that come with a house, pertaining to mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow, fixing the roof, etc.
It’s important to note as well that if condo fees are too high, this can be a sign of poor money management on the part of the condo board. And the condo board of directors is made up of owners just like the condo owner. Thus, no one is profiting from the condo fees associated with a condo.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Many of the misconceptions that prevent home buyers from considering a condominium stem mainly from a potential home buyer not fully understanding how condo ownership works and exactly what the condo owner is responsible for.
In a single-family dwelling, owners will have more control, which can make expenditures easier to swallow and perhaps less noticeable.
On the other end, buying a condo leads to less hassle in maintaining the property which frees up more time for the condo owner to do other things. When thinking about buying a condo, Search Realty points to the benefits, such as less upkeep, security, and amenities, which can sway the balance of a potential home buyer into choosing a condo over a single family home.
Search Realty provides all the information necessary for a potential home buyer to make the right choice – the right choice being the one that suits their needs and desires.