Have you reached a point in your life where the possibility of buying a condominium is on your mind?
They come in many different forms, including high-rise buildings, townhouses, lofts, villas, flats and even converted apartment complexes.
Buying condos and townhouses is different from committing yourself to a house or living in an apartment. In fact, it’s sort of a hybrid of the two. You’ll have full possession of your own unit, but the total cost of maintenance is divided among all of the owners. If you’re like a lot of prospective purchasers, you’ve found one of the most important advantages of owning a condo is the freedom from having to do any yard work.
Where to buy a condo depends upon several factors. First, in what environment do you want to live? Is the property maintained in a way that indicates good management? And are you moving into an area where condominium properties hold their value or even appreciate? Your investment won’t grow as quickly as a single family house, but you should see some appreciation over the years. And it’s certainly more than you would get from renting an apartment (zero).
Typically, condos are located convenient to shopping, restaurants and other destinations that may be part of your daily life.
Purchase loans are structured to be similar to mortgage financing. When buying a condominium with a conventional loan, expect to pay a minimum of 20% down.
In a modern high-rise condominium building, you can find such amenities as elevators, swimming pools, a clubhouse, workout rooms and possibly even on-site security and 24-hour concierge services.
Buying a condominium, like any other major purchase, requires diligent research. If possible, talk to some of the residents where you’re thinking of living. Find out the pros and cons. Investigate all the alternatives. If a high-rise isn’t for you, how about a townhome?
If you’re not sure you’re ready to commit to ownership yet, look for a rental unit where you might want to buy. That would afford you the opportunity to get a feel for living there before you decide for sure.