"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 have to be some things that are bad 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 common?
Let us begin with the definition of a condo association:
- Membership in the condo association is automatic and mandatory upon purchase of a unit.
- The condo association's governing documents mutually bind all owners.
- Mandatory evacuations, called maintenance or condominium fees, are charged to each owner to operate and take care of the condo's property.
- Use and enjoyment of this property are for many owners.
What are the benefits of condominium living?
- Owning your own home is a smart investment. Why pay rent when you could be building equity?
- Interest on your mortgage loan might be an allowable income tax deduction.
- You may enjoy freedom from doing exterior maintenance.
- The price of recreational facilities is shared. Condominiums offer amenities which you will be unable to manage on your own.
- Safety systems are "built in." Due to the proximity of your neighbors, even when you take a vacation locks your door and go!
So What's The Downside?
- The lifestyle takes some "getting used to."
- There are limitations on what you could do.
- There may be disagreements with your neighbors.