Condos or condominiums are privately owned residences inside of a larger building or a community. All the units share common areas and amenities like pool, fitness center, lawns, etc. Condos are very popular nowadays because of the lower price in comparison with other options, as well as less maintenance.
Condos are a real estate concept that a lot of Australians are familiar with and it’s called strata development. It is a scenario where a building or a complex is split into strata lots, which are semi-independent units. The entirety of the complex is in the joint ownership of the strata corporation and owners of strata lots in question. In other words, while people living in these lots are owners of the lots, certain elements still belong to the corporation.
This creates a unique living situation that has both its advantages and disadvantages. Here are several pros and cons of living in condos.
1. The cost
Pro: The cost of a condo is substantially lower than the cost of a traditional single-family home. The buyer usually gets a great price per square meter of the property. This makes them a frugal option for those looking to become first-time homeowners.
Con: The downside is that you don’t actually buy the entire property. If you were to buy a single-family home, you would be the owner with the right to perform any property improvement that you come up with. By buying a condo you won’t have the same privilege.
Wrap up: It really comes down to your budget and your intentions with the property. It is a more frugal option but your money doesn’t provide you with ownership in a traditional sense.
2. The lifestyle
Pro: Condo living provides you with a stronger sense of community for several reasons. It also provides you with every single benefit of urban living. Everything is close and convenient and you have access to the strata management option, which makes being a homeowner a lot easier.
Con: Living in a community sometimes might seem like a disadvantage. Your neighbors are closer than they would normally be. The matter of sharing a wall, alone, can be quite discomforting. Then, there’s the matter of house rules that you need to abide by.
Wrap up: Living in a community can be a blessing and a curse. It all comes down to your ability to get accustomed to this lifestyle. It also comes down to your people skills and the ability to set boundaries.
Pro: Whenever there’s something wrong within your condo, you have a simple way of managing it. You contact your building manager and, in the majority of scenarios, they cover the costs of the repair. The manager in question usually has a lot of professional repairment on a speed dial, so you won’t have to go on a quest to find a suitable handyman.
Con: Just because you don’t get to pay for every single repair, it doesn’t mean that the repair money doesn’t go from your pocket. There’s a thing called the association fee. It implies that you pay a small fee on a regular basis. This fee goes to a mutual fund from which the majority of maintenance is funded.
Wrap up: Paying a fee seems like another item in your budget but it basically provides you with the ability to spread out your repair money over the course of time, instead of paying for it straight away.
Pro: The depreciation of a condo doesn’t go down as quickly. This means that you are likely to get the price approximate to the one you have paid. This makes the idea of getting a condo as a temporary home even more appealing. Nonetheless, you’ll still need to learn how to stage the place for maximum resale value.
Con: The curb appeal of a condo is really not that great. In other words, people are quite polarized in terms of this type of living. Regardless of how great of an offer you make, for some people living in a condo will always be a hard pass.
Wrap up: Selling a condo is something that might await you further down the line. So, you should take this into consideration before actually buying. This way you will make a decision that you’re not likely to regret.
Pro: The majority of condos have the matter of security completely outsourced. This means that you will have a security guard, doorkeeper and more. Introducing these same (or similar) security measures in the house that you own would be incredibly expensive.
Con: The fact that there are so many people living in your vicinity goes both ways. You are living closer to your neighbor than you otherwise would, so, if you don’t trust them (or just don’t know them that well) this could be quite unsettling. There is also an influx of their own visitors moving about.
Wrap up: While safety in numbers is a common concept, it’s not always something that goes in your favor. On the other hand, there are numerous security-related benefits that you get by just living in a condo.
Pro: The majority of condos have numerous amenities like fitness centers, a pool or a community clubhouse. You also get to enjoy these amenities surrounded by people you meet on a regular basis, instead of strangers. In other words, it may also be a way for you to get to know your community.
Con: There aren’t really many cons to this feature but it’s our duty to play devil’s advocate. Sure, having access to a community pool isn’t like owning your own pool. Also, some people argue that they feel pushed (due to sheer convenience) towards these in-house amenities instead of exploring their other options.
Wrap up: As we’ve already mentioned, living in a condo provides you with a full set of advantages of ultimate urban living.
In the end, there are a lot of situational factors. One and the same feature of a condo may seem like a major advantage to some and a big disadvantage to others. For instance, house rules may seem too strict or restricting but remember that they are there to safeguard your peace and your property, as well. It also depends on whether you see life in a condo to be a temporary solution or your permanent living arrangement. Managing your expectations is always a first step towards not getting disappointed.
Emily Miller, a guest blogger, writing about life-work related topics. Passionate about home improvement and interior design.