I’m a homeowner. Honestly, I never thought it would happen. Strict lending requirements and soaring home prices kept me out of the game for way too long. When I finally saw a glimmer of hope of owning a home, an inexpensive, fixer-upper condo in a supposedly up-and-coming area, I jumped at the chance. So, yes, I own a condo. I just wish I’d known a few things before I bought it.
Hindsight Really Is 20/20
After signing what seemed like a mountain of paperwork and getting the key to my new condo, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to spend the first night in my new home. Little did I know I was soon going to regret my decision.
I have noisy neighbors — very noisy neighbors. And they love to fight in the middle of the night. Thanks to paper-thin walls, I can hear everything. Somehow, I thought condos would be soundproof. But they’re not. Noise is one of the most common complaints made by condo dwellers.
And that’s not all. I quickly realized that the landscaping crew was not up to par. I’m currently paying $250 a month in HOA fees for the exterior of my condo to look like a run-down disaster. What’s more, there isn’t much I can do about it. I’m restricted from making changes to the outside of my unit. There’s nothing I can do to improve the curb appeal of my home other than complain, which I do quite a bit.
Condo Living Isn’t ALL Bad
Although there are some issues I’m not happy with, condo living isn’t all bad. I did save a ton of money by choosing a condo over a single-family home. I can go on vacation and rely on my neighbors and the grounds staff to watch over my property. I have access to a pool, fully equipped gym, club house and dog park. And I don’t have to take care of any of them, which gives me more time to do the things I love to do.
The best part? My condo has appreciated substantially. Over the past few years, condos have increased in value at a much faster rate than single-family homes, as reported by U.S. News. I now have equity, and that’s not something many homeowners achieve in their first year of homeownership.
Would I Buy a Condo Again?
Yes, I would likely buy another condo, but I would be smarter about it. I would do plenty of research to make sure the units are soundproof. I would visit the property multiple times at all hours to see what sort of environment I was moving into. I would also investigate the homeowner’s association extensively to make sure they have enough money and the motivation to keep the outside of the property maintained.
I learned the hard way that condo living isn’t for everyone. You don’t have to. Take it from me: Do plenty of research before selecting a condo community. Also, take some time to figure out if condo living is compatible with your lifestyle. The last thing you want to do is end up trapped in a mortgage and condo that you dislike.
~Here’s To Your Success!
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