Condominium living can be ideal for young, busy professionals who don't want the burden of maintaining a yard or the outside of a home. The recreational facilities in most condo communities, which include things like pools and gyms, are also good places to hang out and make new friends when your life feels like it otherwise consists of work, work, and more work. The hardest part of condo living is often finding the right condo! Here are four things to look for as you carry out your search.
The HOA Rules
Every condo community is overseen by an HOA that makes and enforces rules and guidelines for the community. HOAs are important -- they keep the community amenable to everyone. But there are some HOAs that have stricter rules and that issue heavier fines than others. Ask to look over a condo association's rules before you agree to buy a condo. Make sure they're reasonable and that you can live within them.
In some communities, each home is its own, separate entity. In others, the condos are all connected to one another. You may prefer the former arrangement, and that's fine. But if you do look at condos that are connected, make sure you check for soundproofness. Ask whether the walls are constructed to be sound-proof, and spend some time inside one of the condos to test whether you can hear noises from the next unit.
One extra expense that comes with living in a condo is the homeowners association fee. This fee may be $50 a month, or it could be several hundred. Make sure it's a fee you can afford alongside the mortgage, taxes, and homeowners insurance fees you'll also have to pay when living in the condos.
The condo association is typically required to take care of the landscaping. However, some condo associations do a better job of this than others. Take a good look at the landscaping to see whether it seems to be maintained well, and don't forget to ask how often they mow the lawn, tend the garden beds, and so forth. If you can't stand long grass and it's not mowed as often as you like, this might not be the home for you.
Overall, the more questions you ask the condo listing agent, the better. Living in a condo can be a wonderful experience, but only if you find the right one. Contact a condo listing agent for more help.