Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, looking to downsize, or want to save money, you may want to consider purchasing a condo. If you’re looking to live in a home with less maintenance, but still want to have some kind of ownership, a condo is a great option. With that, here are some factors to think about when you start your search.
When moving into a condo, you have to remember you may not have as much space as you would in a standard house. There’s also a possibility you won’t have a garage or attic. However, some condos will provide you with storage space, so as you look at different properties, ask the seller or representing real-estate agent if the complex offers residents any space in which to store extra belongings. You don’t want to move with all of your stuff and not have enough room for it, so before you make your final choice, just be sure your most important belongings will fit. If you need to, maybe sell some stuff you don’t use anymore so you have more space in your condo for what you actually need.
You’ll also want to see if the walls between units are thick enough that you won’t be bothered by any noise coming from next door. Having lived in a college dorm, I know how annoying it can get to be able to hear any yelling or loud music coming from the resident right next to you or directly across the hall. If you want don’t want to risk losing your sanity as a condo owner, ask the seller or agent if the walls are soundproof. You have to know if your condo has walls that are thick enough to block out any unwanted noise. This way, you’ll have better knowledge of whether or not you’ll be content with your neighbors.
It’s also important to choose a condo complex that has a wonderful management team. When you visit each complex, take some time to interview the manager and ask them any questions you may have, and also talk to some of the residents to see if they’re happy with the method in which the day-to-day operations are run. Having competent management is essential in confirming the rules of the complex will be enforced, so as to ensure the residents will live pleasant lifestyles. Think of your management team as the equivalent of an RA (resident advisor) in a college dorm. They are there to make sure the community is being taken care of and that its residents are happy.
Speaking of rules and bylaws, you should take a good look at them to make sure they help in offering the kind of living you’re looking for. If you have a pet who will be moving with you, you have to see that the complex allows this for their occupants. You’ll also have to make sure your pet will be happy in a condo environment, such as having enough room to play and run around. If you think you would like to create a little garden on your front lawn, especially with the weather becoming warmer, that’s something you’ll also have to consult the rules and bylaws for as well. In terms of renovating, you don’t always get to decide how you want your condo to appear. If you wish to make any major renovations to your condo, you may have to bring it up with the board or condo association to see if they will approve of your plans, whether they be interior or exterior. If you’re the type of person who likes to make significant changes to your residence every now and then, you may not want to go for a condo.
You have to realize living in a condominium complex is a very social environment. Therefore, you have to make sure your neighbors are welcoming, seeing as these are the people with whom you’ll be living in close proximity. You should do this to make sure the community actually provides a sense of community and that you’ll be able to make friends in your development. Don’t just move to a condo because it offers a comfortable home; move there because you know you’ll connect with those you meet. You want to surround yourself with people who you would invite over for parties or game nights, people who will become sort of an extended family.
Condos also offer a great sense of convenience. If you’re someone who wants to live close to your workplace and local stores, condos are often built in close distance to them, so you won’t have to spend much time in getting to them. And, if you’re next to your town’s shopping and business districts, you can bet it will never get boring, as there will always be activity and liveliness throughout the town. There are also several amenities a condo may provide, such as a playground, tennis court, and pool. Having these features will help you stay active during your residency at the complex, and will also encourage you to meet other individuals in your complex as you spend time outside.
As you look at different complexes, it wouldn’t hurt to ask to see the minutes of the association’s latest board meetings, if available. Doing so will bring you in the loop of any issues that may be experienced within the condo community, such as problematic neighbors, boisterous parties, or trespassing. Having an idea of what goes on in the complex will allow you to sort out the details of the environment and determine if you would like to become a resident in this development, or if you would like to look elsewhere.
Although a condo may be easier than a house in terms of maintenance, there are still many important factors you should consider when looking to purchase a condo. The environment of one may be different from others, so take a close look at the lifestyles of each complex and figure out in which one you can picture yourself living. Once you find the condo that’s perfect for you, you can start enjoying everything the development has to offer!