Posts Tagged ‘Condominium Lifestyle’

3 Expert Fundamentals About the Condominium Lifestyle

February 20th, 2023

“All my life I have lived in a single-family home. I’m thinking about downsizing and I hear all this talk about how great condominium living is. There must be some bad things too. What can you tell me?”

Every time you drive down the freeway in big cities, near suburbs, resort areas, or small towns, you see condominium developments sprouting up. They come in all sizes and shapes—luxury versions, low cost models, and those in between. What makes condominiums so popular?

Let’s start with the definition of a condominium association:

Membership in the condominium association is mandatory and automatic upon purchase of a unit.
The condominium association’s governing documents mutually bind all owners.
Mandatory assessments, called maintenance or condo fees, are charged to each owner to operate and maintain the condominium’s property.
Use and enjoyment of the property are for all owners.
What are the advantages of condominium living?
Owning your own home is a wise investment. Why pay rent when you can be building equity?
Interest on your mortgage loan may be an allowable income tax deduction.
You can enjoy freedom from performing exterior maintenance.
The cost of recreational facilities is shared. Many condominiums offer amenities that you may not be able to afford on your own.
Security systems are “built in.” Because of the proximity of your neighbors, when you take a vacation, just lock your door and go!
Organized social activities may be planned for all ages and occasions.
You may have a voice in the management by offering your services to the board of directors or special committees.
Property values normally increase because condominium living is a very popular lifestyle, and the association makes sure the property’s appearance is professionally maintained.
So What’s The Downside?
The lifestyle takes some “getting used to.”
There are restrictions about what you can do.
There can be disagreements with your neighbors.
You may not have any control over the assessments (maintenance fees) and special assessments charged to all owners.
The board controls colors and styles of the building exteriors and choices of landscape plantings.
Parking may be limited or inconvenient.
The handicapped may have difficulty navigating the environment.
Because the decisions in a condominium association are made by the board of directors, you may not be able to have a direct influence on those decisions. This means you will have to let other people make them, and they may make ones that you do not like. Letting go of that control can be difficult for some people.
How different is living in a condo from living in your own single-family home? “Good-different” if you buy a condominium to reap the benefits you know it can offer. “Bad-different” if you are unaware that there are differences or you have no intention of conforming. Depending on your attitude, you can enjoy your new condominium or you could be annoyed on a daily basis.

Once you understand that you are sharing the operation and maintenance of your home with all the other owners in the condominium association, you can appreciate that you don’t carry the entire burden. You have time to explore your other interests.

Do your homework by reading, or having your attorney read, the governing documents and rules. Then you will know the advantages and disadvantages of living in your particular condominium before you buy it.