Condominiums are essentially apartments that you own. Condos can take the form of an apartment or shared residential complex. Typically, you purchase the condo and then continue to pay a monthly condo fee which covers repairs and maintenance to the common areas of the property. Most of the exterior maintenance and repairs are the responsibility of the condo association, along with all lawn maintenance, although the payment for these services comes from the condo dues you pay.
There are many advantages to condo ownership. Money is probably the biggest advantage. Research shows that condo prices tend to appreciate at a slower rate than single family homes which makes them more affordable especially in areas with higher costs of living. You can earn tax deductions on the interest you pay on your mortgage since you actually own the condominium. Condos also provide attractive lifestyle choices for certain buyers such as the socialization and security you earn by having so many neighbors in close quarters. Lastly, most condominium complexes offer additional shared amenities on the property such as a pool, fitness facility and more.
Searching for a condominium to purchase involves the same process as looking for a single family home. If you know what you’re looking for, it’s a good idea to contact a real estate agent for assistance. The agent can search the MLS database for all of the condominium listings available in your specific area. Or, if you prefer to take on the search yourself, you can perform an online search of listings by real estate companies or you can visit the offices of condominium buildings if you already have a specific building in mind.
If you do decide a condo is right for you, keep in mind that in addition to a sales contract, you will be asked to sign an agreement or declaration which entails the rules and governorship of the particular condo. You should request a copy of these documents from the complex management ahead of time so you can review and thoroughly understand the condominium rules and expectations prior to signing a sales contract.