As you begin searching for a home to buy, you might not envision yourself purchasing a condo, but maybe you should think about it because there are many benefits to condo ownership.
One of the money-saving benefits of owning a condo is that the cost of insurance is lower, whether it’s a 30-year-old unit or requires new build home insurance.
Condos also can make your life easier by eliminating many responsibilities that come with home ownership. And one of the most enjoyable benefits of condo living is the amenities.
We’ll dive into each of those benefits below. We’ll also include a contrasting con for each of the pros. When you’re investing in a place to live, it’s important that you obtain as accurate and complete a picture as possible.
Money Savings With Condo Ownership
There are several ways that purchasing a condo will help you save money. Condo ownership lets you experience the sweet spot between renting an apartment and buying a single-family home.
You’ll get to build equity while enjoying some benefits of renting that we examine next.
Lower Purchase Price
When you compare square footage, you’ll almost always pay less for a condo than you would a single-family home. This fact is especially beneficial when you need a lot of space, but you’re having a hard time finding a home you can afford.
Con: While condos follow the housing market trends, they don’t appreciate as much as single-family homes do. So while the lower purchase price is appealing, keep in mind that you’ll sell it for a lower price than you would with a comparable house.
More Affordable Insurance
Part of your condo dues or association fees will go toward insurance on the exterior and structure of your condo. That means that you can purchase a condo policy, which is similar to a renters insurance policy.
Because your insurance will only need to cover your liability, personal belongings, and interior of your home, it won’t cost as much as a stand-alone home policy.
If you want to save even more on condo insurance, make sure you shop around and look for discounts. Bundling condo and auto insurance is one of the easiest ways to qualify for a discount.
Con: Even though condo insurance is inexpensive, remember that you are paying another insurance bill for the property through your condo dues.
Heating and Cooling Savings
Because you share walls in a condo (in most cases, anyway), your neighbors will help your unit stay insulated. Many inner condo owners report rarely needing to turn on their heat, even during frigid winters.
If you purchase an end unit, you won’t experience as much energy savings as inner units do.
Con: Every time you focus on a benefit, there’s a corresponding negative, and while the energy savings of condo living are significant, sharing a wall also means you’ll hear your neighbors, which can be annoying.
If you don’t want to mow the lawn, condo living might be a perfect fit. You won’t have to keep lawn equipment stored and maintained because your association will care for the yard work.
Con: If you have your heart set on growing a garden, you may not want to live in a condo, where your gardening options may be limited to patio pots.
Snow Removal Covered
Not many people genuinely enjoy waking up early so they have time to shovel their driveway before leaving for the day. If you have a condo, there’s a good chance that your association will contract with a plowing company, and you’ll be able to stay warm under your blanket for a few extra minutes in the morning instead of shoveling.
Con: It’s challenging to come up with a con related to snow removal, but just know that you’re paying for it through your association dues. It’s a benefit, for sure, but it’s not free.
Freedom From Exterior Building Maintenance
You don’t have to worry about replacing your roof, painting your soffits, or prepping your home’s exterior for winter when you have a condo. Your property management will ensure all those tasks are taken care of.
Con: If you notice that something needs to be done, such as painting your front door or window frames, you may not be able to get the management to take care of it as quickly as you would if you were handling the issue directly.
Access to Amenities
The amenities are quite possibly the best part of living in a condo. Some condos come with no amenities, and some come with an array of resources.
Taking advantage of the amenities offered by a condo association can help you have fun and stay on budget.
Fitness and Pool
Not every condo has a pool and fitness center, but many do. If you value access to these amenities, you probably won’t mind paying your association dues to ensure your ability to use these facilities.
Some condo associations even have tennis courts, basketball courts, and walking trails, so you have more fitness options.
If you’re comparing condos, you should look into classes they may offer at their fitness center. Since 95% of fitness centers in the U.S. offer Zumba classes, there’s a decent chance you could find a condo fitness center that offers it.
Sometimes they offer yoga classes, pilates, weightlifting training, and many other disciplines. Access to these classes is a valuable resource if you’ll use it.
Con: If you don’t use your condo’s fitness center or pool, you still have to pay for it.
Condo associations often have extra property that you can access as a member. Perhaps they have a community center where you can host a birthday party, or maybe they have a lounge where you have the chance to meet your neighbors and build a sense of community.
Communal areas allow you to access more space than you have in your unit, so you have more options for activities.
Con: You have to share communal space with others, and your personality may not be a good fit for enjoying shared facilities.
Buying a condo isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth considering because for some people, owning a condo is the perfect fit for their needs and lifestyle desires.
If you want a lot of house for the money, you’d appreciate freedom from yard work, and you’d take advantage of the amenities offered by buying a condo, it’s probably the best option for you.