7 Questions to Ask Before Jumping Into Condo Life
So you think you’re ready for condo life. That may be, but just to be sure, ask yourself these seven questions.
1. Do I Really Want a Community ‘Hall Monitor’? – The HOA
If you ever had an RA or remember hall monitors patrolling the halls in college, get prepared for your HOA. Okay, not all homeowners associations are like having a hall monitor watching your every move, but some are.
Are pets forbidden and if they aren’t, who’s picking up the poop? Can you have visitors for the summer or will your neighbors rat on you for having “extended” guests? Think about your lifestyle and compare that to how your condo association is going to govern you as their tenant.
2. Can I Put Up with Shared Walls with Noisy Neighbors?
Escaping apartment life is one of the reasons renters start looking for homes. Some condos are detached and give you the feeling of living in a single-family home while others are situated just like your typical apartment complex.
After paying thousands of dollars to own your own home are you still going to have to share walls with your noisy or nosy neighbors? Think about that before you jump into condo life.
3. Will I Miss Green Grass too Much? – Limited Outdoor Space
Newer condo complexes are dealing with the limitations of outdoor space in a condo community. Some are building dog runs on the roofs. Others are creating open-air community courtyards between buildings.
You may find a condo with a private backyard, but one that fits your budget may not offer much green grass. Are you going to be able to let Sparky out the door to roam in a fenced in yard or will you have to leash up every time your dog has to go?
4. Are My Neighbors’ Windows Staring at Mine? – Less Privacy
Lack of privacy can be a huge problem in certain condo buildings. Think about apartment buildings where your kitchen window looks right into your neighbor’s or worse, your bedroom windows face each other! How close together are the condo units in your prospective building? Will it give you the privacy you want?
5. Is the Community Right for Me?
Some condo communities go above and beyond to provide their residents with extra-curricular activities on-site. Are your neighbors the type of people you even want to mingle with? Condo communities tend to be close-knit. If these birds aren’t your flock, it could make condo life awful for you.
6. Can I Have Some Space Please? – Skimpy Personal Storage
Most condos have closets, some have garages, but very few have enough space for your tool shed. What about all of the items you have been keeping in storage? Are you going to have to keep paying to store things because you have no personal storage at your condo? If you are moving to downsize, be careful not to downsize too much.
7. What Do I Get for All These Fees?
Every condo complex has its own association fees. Every month you’ll have to pay that. For some high-end condos, that few hundred bucks a month provides some amazing extras like concierge, on-site fitness centers and free cable.
Others just charge you a monthly fee, yet your landscaping is unkempt, repair requests stay outstanding for weeks and there are very few extras. When you are looking at the HOA fees, ask yourself, ‘What do I get for all these fees?’
Ready to start condo shopping? Give me a call today so that I can help you settle into the perfect condo for your lifestyle.
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The Scott Loper Team
Scott & Lisa Loper