Are you thinking about buying a home and considering the benefits of condo living in Scottsdale? Whether you are a small family or a single college graduate, there are plenty of pros and cons of condo living to review before making your decision. Buying a home is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make, so taking the time to explore the advantages of condo living is a step in the right direction. We’ve helped homebuyers secure the American dream throughout the Scottsdale and Paradise Valley area for over 20 years and can share with you the best and worst aspects of condo ownership.
Pros and Cons of Living in a Condo
Homeowners choose condo living for a variety of reasons. There are many upscale options available in Scottsdale. We can make it easy to find something within your budget and style preferences. Whether you’re looking for condo living conveniently located near nightlife or in the suburbs, there is something for everyone. The benefits of condo living can be a great stepping stone into homeownership for first-time buyers. Here are a few pros and cons of living in a condo to think about before taking the next step:
- Low maintenance – One of the most significant advantages of condo living is not mowing the lawn. In fact, you may not have to worry about landscaping upkeep anymore! Keeping up the grounds and maintaining the outside of the condo are typically the condo association’s responsibilities. When you live in a condo, the pesky tasks of outdoor maintenance like painting, gutter cleaning, or grass cutting are left to someone else while you enjoy your home.
- Amenities – Luxury condo living comes with a variety of plush amenities. You can sometimes expect access to a pool, fitness center, community clubhouse, barbecue grills, tennis courts, and even movie theaters. Shared community access is a great way to afford and enjoy many recreational extras you otherwise may not be able to. The best part of common luxury areas is that the homeowners association maintains them.
- Community – Many homeowners prefer condo living because of the sense of community, security, and ease. There’s nothing to worry about if you decide to leave for extended periods since almost all condos have 24/7 security. If you’re a family with children, you’ll have an easier time finding playmates for them with neighbors who look out for each other. Since the homeowners association manages common areas and amenities, you’ll have a say in any changes that take place. If your community needs new roofing, upgraded exercise equipment, or other repairs, you’ll be able to contribute your opinion as a condo owner.
- Affordability – One of the greatest advantages of condo living is affordability! Most condos are priced considerably less than single-family homes. Maintenance costs are virtually cut in half, with shared common areas covered under the homeowner association. The average condo was over $20,000 less than a single-family home just a couple of years ago. This gap can fluctuate depending on the area you consider moving to. For new homeowners on a tighter budget, this is the perfect solution as your first step to owning real estate.
- Monthly dues – A downside of condo living is paying monthly dues, known as HOA fees. Homeowner Association fees go to pay for the shared areas of the complex. It is in addition to the mortgage and insurance payments you make every month. Depending on what type of community you live in, you can expect to pay between $150 and $400 on top of your mortgage. Sometimes, you can spend more if you choose a plush condo community. You may also be required to pay additional fees upfront to reserve the unit, and securing insurance may be more complicated. Residents are often required to carry two different insurance policies for a condo, including one for the condo complex and one for their personal condo.
- Restrictions – Since most HOAs require all units to look the same, there may be restrictions and limitations on what you can change inside your condo. This may apply to what you can change about your yard or the decorations you can put up. Remodeling may be restricted, and every condo owner has differing opinions on what they feel is best for the complex. The possibility of disagreeing with other unit owners on a change in policy or initiating needed improvements is a reality for condo living.
- Lack of privacy – One of the most challenging aspects of condo living is the lack of privacy. It is very similar to living in an apartment complex with common areas. If you live in a large complex, you’ll likely hear more noise coming through the buildings. The limited outdoor space will probably be shared and not private. Some condos allow you to have pets while others don’t. If you’re an animal lover, this may be a deal-breaker for you.
- Rules – Like living in an apartment, condo living is regulated by rules that everyone must follow. These rules may dictate when you can use the shared amenities or how many parking spaces you have. For those who prefer to use solar panels as a source of energy, you may need to ask for permission from your HOA. If you are denied, you’re out of luck. Other rules include pet restrictions, the number of visitors, and noise restrictions. This may be ok for some people, but for others, the overwhelming amount of rules can be stifling.
- Difficult to sell – When your family begins to grow, you may want to move into a larger home. The selling process may take a while since condos can be hard to sell. Many families with children or thinking of having them will want a yard and pets. First-time buyers may not want to pay extravagant HOA fees. When HOAs are underfunded and the community does not appear desirable, it’s less likely that people will want to live there. The prospect of its difficulty to sell could also have a negative impact on a new homebuyer’s ability to secure a loan. Potential buyers might be moving out of apartment complexes and will prefer to have more privacy and space. Lastly, if there are empty units in the complex, those could sell first.
Are you Ready for Condo Living
Many of these disadvantages can easily be converted into benefits of condo living with the right unit. There are so many options in the Scottsdale and Paradise Valley areas, there will likely be a unit that’s perfect for you. When you decide on a complex that’s right for you, it’s a good idea to speak to potential neighbors about their experiences. You can gauge the pros and cons of condo living in a condo based on the specific communities you are interested in.
We can help you weigh the pros and cons of living in a condo before you choose to buy. Jeff Barchi is an award-winning realtor in the top 1% of agents in the country. When you want a pleasant, professional, and fast home buying process, The Barchi Team is the best partner for the job. Serving the Scottsdale area for over 20 years, you’ll feel secure knowing you have an experienced realtor by your side.
Get in touch with The Barchi Team to find your dream home today!