A condominium is a type of ownership rather than the description of a kind of dwelling. A condo is a piece of real estate where multiple individuals own a specific part of the property while sharing common areas such as hallways, elevators, exterior areas, and pool. An association usually runs the facilities and collects dues to use for maintenance and care of the jointly owned areas. Generally, condos are apartment building where the tenet owns their apartment. However, there are townhomes that offer condominium style ownership. Purchasing a condo is no different than buying a home. You must still secure a mortgage through a bank and the property can be foreclosed if you fail to make your monthly payments.
There are several advantages to owning a condominium. As noted before, upkeep of the property is handled by a central agency. Unlike an apartment, you own the condo and therefore you can do anything you want with it including renovate. You can even lease the condo to other people and collect rent. However, you are liable if your tenant breaks the rules. Most condos are cheaper to buy and single family homes and they often come with upgraded amenities like a pool and wireless internet. They make great vacation homes especially in known tourist spots.
However, condominiums have their dark side too. Most of the time, it is an apartment type dwelling so you will have neighbors above, below and to the sides of you. This can quickly get annoying if you have noisy or insensitive neighbors. Other problems may include paying association fees that are outrageously expensive and dealing with rules that are too restrictive or that you simply don’t agree with. There is usually no yard for children or pets to play and parking is traditionally a shared lot. Lastly, condo boards can become political nightmares with decisions being made that only benefits a few but impacts everyone.
A condominium can be a great investment as a first home, second home, or even a vacation spot. If getting a condo is something you think you would enjoy owning, then it is best to work with a real estate agent to find the perfect place for you. Since you are purchasing the space, you will need to find a bank to finance your mortgage. Be sure to shop round for the best deal and take all the necessary precautions to prevent yourself from being taken advantage of in the buying process.