When you buy a condo, you own it just as you would a single-family detached house. But living in a condo differs from living in a house in several ways. Here are a few distinctions to consider.
Depending on where your condominium is situated in the complex, you may be sharing one or multiple walls with neighboring units. If you're coming from a freestanding house, make sure you're comfortable living close to your neighbors.
With a condo, you pay homeowners association (HOA) fees to cover maintenance costs for the building and included amenities. The association also sets rules you'll need to comply with regarding pets, noise levels, parking, remodeling and other matters. Because it's a shared building, condo rules are generally more stringent and comprehensive than HOA rules for houses.
In addition to your monthly dues, condo associations may also impose special assessments to pay for unexpected repairs and maintenance. It's important to buy into a well-run, well-funded association. Poor management may lead to poor upkeep, which could result in excessive fees.
Some choose to buy a condo since there's usually less upkeep than with a freestanding house. The association fees will often cover services like lawn care and building maintenance, costs that would otherwise fall on your shoulders should you opt for a house.
Which would suit you better -- a condo or a house? There are certainly pros and cons to each, but giving some thought to your lifestyle and personal preferences can help you decide.
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