Is the Condo Lifestyle the Perfect Fit for You? Here Are Two Things to Consider
With their close proximity to active, urban areas and their frequently lower perceived costs, condominiums are attractive alternatives to single-family homes in the suburbs. However, before you fall in love with that condo with the great balcony, there are two questions you need to ask yourself.
Is It Really This Affordable?
Since a condominium development can have several common spaces, they often have Homeowners Association (HOA) fees to cover the upkeep and maintenance costs. Sometimes these fees can be as much as your mortgage payment, so you need to know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
It is always best to explore how much the HOA fees are and whether they’re paid monthly, quarterly, or annually so you can budget for them. Additionally, you want to know what they cover. Some HOA fees include certain utilities and insurances, while others just cover common space management and care.
In addition to HOA fees, there are other expenses to owning a condominium. You’ll want to understand your homeowner’s insurance, any utilities you’ll need, and--if you’re financing--things like PMI.
Lastly, in the realm of all things financial, you’ll want to explore if there are any rules that prevent you from renting out your condo as an investment—whether for short term (like Airbnb) or long term. Many condos will have rules regarding rentals, so be sure to investigate this if renting your condo is of interest to you.
How Social Do I Want to Be?
Living in a condominium can be great for young people right out of college since there are so many amenities and the mortgage can be lower. However, if you don’t want to live around lively groups, it may not be the place for you. The condo may also be adjacent to one, two, or even more neighbors that could produce more noise than you’d like.
On the other hand, does the place have a great pool, fitness area, or common spaces where you can meet and be around other people? That may be a definite perk for singles, transplants, or people who just want to be social.
By asking yourself these two questions, you can get a better sense of whether condo life is right for you. A good practice is to talk to the building’s residents. Tell them you are considering a purchase and find out what they say. They will tell you what isn’t written in those by-laws, and you can find out what kind of people you could be living near.
Are you ready to embrace the condo lifestyle? If so, give us a call
. It would be our pleasure to help you find the piece of Los Angeles real estate that’s right for you.