Is Condo Living Right For You? Here’s How to Tell

December 25, 2018

apartment buildingThe average time to sell a property in many markets right now is six to 12 months, and while many people think it’s a less than ideal time to make any major real estate decisions, there are actually plenty of benefits that come with purchasing during the off-season. This is true of all home types: single-family homes, multi-family homes, and even condominium properties. If you’re not quite sure what condo living entails, keep reading. Here are just a few ways to know whether living in a condominium community is right for you.

Property Ownership

Owning a condo is considered a hybrid form of ownership because of the fact that there are multiple units built within one structure. But don’t be mistaken — all of the rooms in your condo, the interior walls, as well as any patios or balconies are all considered to be legally yours. This means that most condo communities allow owners to modify their interior spaces however they choose. In a 2017 interior design trends survey, more than a third of respondents said they would choose a neutral color palette if redecorating their home, and just like a traditional homeowner, you can paint and redecorate to your heart’s content and turn your house into a home.

Amenities

Many communities also offer amenities — in addition to basic maintenance like lawn care and snow removal, you’ll have access to (and shared legal ownership of) any common areas. That being said, if you’re a fan of swimming, the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States, you’ll be glad to know that it’s not hard to find a community that has a pool or other exercise areas like a gym or tennis court. These amenities are what some of your monthly HOA fees are allocated toward, so make sure you’ll take full advantage of them if you invest in a condo property.

Tax Obligations

Americans fail to pay $458 billion a year in taxes, and while condo properties aren’t exempt from paying taxes, the IRS can audit anybody at any time and for any reason. That being said, it’s important to keep accurate financial records for property tax purposes:

“Like any other property owner, you are responsible for paying property taxes on your condo. For tax purposes, each unit and its associated percentage of the undivided interest in the common areas is deemed a parcel and is individually assessed and taxed. The common areas are not separately assessed or taxed, and each unit owner is liable only for the taxes on his or her parcel,” writes Jean Folger on Investopedia.

Privacy

You’ll also want to consider how much you value privacy when thinking about living in a condominium community. While they’re typically maintained immaculately and give owners a true sense of carefree living, not everyone will enjoy being as close to their neighbors as condominium units often are. You’ll share at least one wall with neighbors, and you may get a bit more noise pollution than you would if you were living in a fully separated single-family home. If privacy and a true sense of ownership are your absolute top priorities, condominium living may not be the best option for you. Still, it’s typically considered a better investment than renting an apartment, making it a great option for first-time homeowners.

Ultimately, buying any piece of property is a major decision and should be taken as such. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts to help you make the best investment based on your unique financial situation as well as your personal preferences.



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