Pros and Cons of Condo Living
Wondering if the condo lifestyle is for you? Check out the pros and cons of condo living to help you make more informed choices.
Living in a condo has its pros and cons. As millennials settle down and start their own families, condos have become more popular. Most couples and young families are looking for homes that are accessible to transportation, business, commercial, and lifestyle amenities. Furthermore, baby boomers are starting to downsize and look for homes that are easier to maintain. Thus, the demand for and value of condo units have risen faster in the past years compared to single detached houses.
But the question is: is condo living right for you and your family? What should you expect when living in vertical homes? We round up the pros and cons of condo living to help you make better decisions.
Condominium developments offer a lot of lifestyle perks to their residents. Here are some of the advantages of condo living:
1. Minimal maintenance
If you’re looking for minimal maintenance, condo living might be for you. Sure, you still have to clean your home. However, unlike living in a stand-alone house, you don’t have to clean the backyard or lawn. The maintenance of your condo building and all its amenities, such as lawn care, pool maintenance, and routine inspection and maintenance, is included in your monthly homeowners’ association (HOA) fees.
2. Safety and security
Living in a condo is like living in an exclusive subdivision—you enjoy the safety and security of gated communities. Additionally, condominiums have secure entry doors, security personnel, and CCTV cameras that ensure the residents’ safety 24/7. In case of emergencies, you can ask for assistance faster from the security personnel or next-door neighbors. These added layers of security are rarely found in single detached houses.
3. Lifestyle amenities
Another great feature when living in a condo is the amenities it offers. Condominium developments usually have a pool, fitness center, entertainment center, playgrounds, and even spas, which are already included in the HOA fees. This will keep you and your family active and entertained throughout the week, without having to worry about the facility’s upkeep.
4. More affordable than single-family houses
If you’re a first-time homeowner planning to settle down in the city for more than five years, buying a condo might be more affordable than buying a single-family home. Condos are much smaller in square footage and come without any land, which make them less expensive than a single-family house.
5. Strong sense of community
If you’re looking for a neighborhood with a strong sense of community, living in a condominium might be your perfect option. Condo residents usually share communal spaces, such as a pool, roof terraces, and playground. This will help you to get to know your neighbors better and enjoy get-togethers with them. Moreover, some condo developments host resident events, such as dinner parties, family fun days, movie nights, and BBQ cookouts, which foster camaraderie among neighbors.
6. Proximity to commercial, lifestyle, and business districts
Since condominium developments are located near downtown areas in big cities, residents enjoy proximity to all of life’s basic needs and luxuries. Condos are typically within walking distance to major transport hubs, commercial and business districts, and entertainment centers.
If you’re working in the city, going to and from work will not be that much of a problem for you. For families with children, finding quality schools is easier since condominiums are also situated near school districts.
The condo lifestyle is not for everyone. Here are some of the disadvantages of living in a condo:
1. HOA and maintenance fees
If you’re planning to buy a condo on a mortgage, keep in mind that you will not only pay monthly mortgage payments but also homeowners association (HOA) and maintenance fees. HOA fees are monthly dues that you pay for the use of condo amenities, cleaning fees for common spaces, building maintenance and security, and the overall upkeep of the development.
Depending on your HOA community and the amenities included, fees can be costly. HOA fees can also increase, especially if there’s a major repair needed.
Tip: Before you purchase a condo, always assess your monthly and yearly household budget against your actual household income to prevent monetary deficits.
2. Limited living and storage space
Since condos are smaller in square footage than single detached homes, expect limited floor space and parking area, as well as a lack of outdoor space. This may be a problem for families who want to have their own green space or garden. Condos can also have small storage space—no basement, attic, or garage. If you live in units with smaller square footage, installing additional closets might be impossible.
Also, buying a condo does not include the land, since all the land in the development is considered common property.
Tip: To maximize your condo space, choose multi-purpose furniture that you can also use as storage spaces. You can also install hanging shelves and cabinets to utilize your vertical space.
3. Lack of privacy
If you live in a condominium, privacy might not be that much of a luxury. Compared to living in single detached houses, condo units are separated only by concrete walls. While some quality developments were constructed with noise-blocking insulation, not all condos are created equal. Cheaper condos have thinner walls that allow you to hear your next-door neighbor’s loud TVs (or quarrels).
Tip: To improve your condo privacy, invest in noise-blocking home accessories to block out unwanted noise coming through your walls and floors. You can use a good set of sound-proof curtains, thick floor rugs, and other heavy drapes.
4. Strict rules and policies
When you live in a condo, you have to abide by strict rules and policies enforced by the HOA. These rules may include pet restrictions, inflexible parking rules, quiet hours, and bans on smoking and drinking in common areas. If you’re a single individual who wants more freedom in your residence, living in a condo might be limiting.
Tip: Make sure to check the HOA rules before buying a condo to make sure they align with your lifestyle goals. While condo rules might be inflexible, embracing them will help your neighborhood achieve peace, order, and safety.
There are pros and cons to condo living, depending on your lifestyle needs. For young couples or retiring individuals looking for flexible residential alternatives to single-detached homes, condo living is a cost-efficient option. For growing families who need more living and storage space, you might want to reconsider buying a condo.
To recap, here are the advantages of a condo lifestyle:
- Minimal maintenance
- Safety and security
- More affordable than single-family houses
- Strong sense of community
- Proximity to commercial, lifestyle, and business districts
On the other hand, here are the disadvantages of condo living:
- HOA and maintenance fees
- Limited living and storage space
- Lack of privacy
- Strict rules and policies
About Ziba Property
Are you looking to buy or rent a condo? Check out Ziba Property to search for the best rental apartment and condo online. Ziba Property is a property listings app that connects you to property managers, landlords, and real estate agents. You can also use the app to find buy-and-sell items like pre-loved furniture within your neighborhood.