Ellingson Properties

Pros & Cons of Choosing a Condo as Your First Home

by Cathy Greene 10/17/2021


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Condominiums can be an excellent option for first-time homebuyers. With lower upfront costs and great perks, a condo can definitely outshine a traditional detached home in many respects. However, even for new buyers a condo might not be the best choice. Here we will go over the main pros & cons of purchasing a condo as a new buyer.

Pros

No Yardwork - Condo buildings or communities always have a homeowners’ association that manages the day-to-day administration and care of the property. The homeowners’ association handles all the maintenance and upkeep of public spaces and utilities like parking, walkways, fencing and landscaping. Some condos have beautifully manicured gardens, lawns or other outdoor features and the residents don’t have to lift a finger to maintain it. If you’re somebody who’s dreamed of home ownership but dreaded the idea of taking care of your own yard, a condo can be a very convenient option.

Built-In Amenities - Living in a condo typically grants you access to several amenities and services provided only to residents. These amenities can include spas, fitness centers, swimming pools, sports courts and shared event space where you can host large groups. While you’ll have to pay a fee in order to access and help management maintain these facilities, you’ll have access to them at your convenience. If you’ve been trying to fit regular exercise into a busy schedule or want to play a sport with your family or roommates, this is a huge quality of life bonus over a detached single family home.

Cons

No Yard - The benefit of perfectly cared for landscaping comes the disadvantage of not having your own yard. Many condos have outdoor spaces, but those spaces are usually covered balconies or patios. Even condo units on the ground level of larger communities rarely have their own land to work with, which can be a real downside for people who like to garden. In a condo you won’t have as much room to work with for things like growing flowers, veggies or trees. Also, because of homeowner association rules, even if you have any gardening space, it will probably be subject to regulation. If you want a yard all to yourself and the freedom to care for it on your own, a condo might not be the best choice.

No Exterior Design Control - While you have the freedom to customize the inside of your condo, you can’t do anything to the outside of the building. This means no major renovations, repainting, changing windows or other customizations that would affect the exterior of your home. If you want to have freedom to change your home’s outside appearance or if you want a specific architectural design, a condo will unfortunately not fulfill this need.

Every condo community is different, so it’s important to weigh your options with those details in mind. A condo might be the perfect choice for a brand new homebuyer but not a good fit for others. Take some time to consider your priorities and preferences and you’ll figure out the best choice for your situation.

About the Author
Author

Cathy Greene

Hi, I'm Cathy Greene and I'd love to assist you. Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.