Although it used to be the American dream to own your own home, nowadays many individuals and even families have made the decision to buy a condominium or condo instead than a single-family home. What exactly is a condo? A condo is really just an apartment that people buy instead of rent. Buyers make this choice because they decide they want to live in the area for a while and they do not want to rent. They may also believe that the condo is reasonably priced and that they may be able to unload it at a higher price when and if they decide to move in the future.
Legally, a condominium is a collection of separate units that are sold instead of rented. Once a buyer signs the contract, he owns everything within the four walls, but when he steps outside his door his ownership ends. Condo owners do not own the land on which their condo is build and they do not own the hallways, stairs or elevators that lead to their unit. The outside ownership question is an issue that many condo owners are divided on.
Condo owners are not responsible for maintenance outside of their own unit. That means that they will not be expected to cut the grass, shovel snow, or pay for repair costs on the building’s exterior. Many busy young professionals and older people who no longer have the physical ability to maintain a lawn purchase condos for this very reason.
Because, as we mentioned, condos have become increasingly popular in recent years, their resale values have continually appreciated. Many young professionals end up owning a condo for 5 or 6 years and then sell it at a hefty profit. However, in light of recent developments in the housing market, the prices for condos and most other real estate has been depreciating. While no one can predict the future, with prices for condos at a five-year low, now might be a good time to buy.
The most obvious drawback of owning a condo is the privacy issue. Many people who buy a home do so because they are tired of apartment living and they want a place of their own; and living in a condo is essentially the same as living in an apartment house. Though the screening process for tenants may be a bit more rigorous, you are probably just as likely to encounter neighbors you can’t stand. There is also the little issue of not having your own front or backyard. While some people might see landscaping as a nuisance, most families cherish their outdoor space.
In the end, buying a condo is all about personal choice and where you are in life. If you are a young working professional who does not plan to marry and start a family for several years, or you are a senior citizen who can’t stand yard work, a reasonably-priced condominium might be your best bet.
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