While there are many conveniences and advantages to condo living, there are certainly lifestyle issues a home buyer must take into account to determine if a high-rise or other type of condominium home will meet their high expectations.
Here are some insights to help you determine if a condominium is a prudent choice as a primary residence. Condo living may NOT be for you if…
1. You have a loud or large dog. Most condos do not have a private yard for your four-legged friend, only common areas, which means your dog will have to stay inside all day. Be sure to also review the Home Owner Association rules & regulations with regards to pets, as there may considerations as to the type, size, breed, etc. allowed.
2. You are a light sleeper. Once you live in a condo, it most likely means you have people living – and making noise – above, below or, at least, to the side-of you. Condo living also has a much higher “density,” which means that within just 100 feet, you could have people that get up early, those that party late, and everyone in between.
3. You like to work on cars. It’s a safe bet to assume that most, if not all, condo HOA’s will not let you work on your car in the parking lot or elsewhere on the property. So, if working on a transmission is your idea of a good time, it’s doubtful the HOA will agree.
4. You need a lot of storage space. While there are roomy condos out there, more often than not they don’t have a garage for extra storage, or much extra closets and cabinetry in general. So if you have a lot of stuff to be stored away, you might consider a more traditional residence where you can spread your wings.
5. You have many vehicles. It’s rare to find a lower priced condo with a 2-car garage. Usually they offer a 1-car garage or carport. While higher end condos usually can accommodate 2 vehicles, they sometimes have restrictions as to the allowable “type,” with some having bans on motorcycles and open bed trucks. Accordingly, home buyers with more than one car should pay close attention to parking options.
6. You are on a budget and can’t handle the higher HOA fees. Condos are known for offering residents additional amenities and commonly have Home Owner Dues from $100 to $500 and above per month. If you are highly budget-conscious and need to keep overhead expenses to a minimum, be sure to take the HOA dues and any addition special assessments into account. Also note that there is no tax deduction for HOA fees.
7. You can’t handle someone living above you, or hate elevators or stairs. With condo living, those in a lower unit will have others living above, which can get noisy and disruptive. Those living in upper units also have neighbor noise to contend with, and will have to haul groceries and other parcels a long way from the car to the front door using an elevator or stairs. Those with physical limitations should be particularly sensitive to this facet of condo living.
8. You like to throw big parties. From limited parking to complaining neighbors, if you are truly an entertainer at heart, a condo might not be the place for you. Plus there are usually HOA-assessed “quiet hours” as well that you may have to abide by.