These days condominiums are a hot topic. I mean let's face it, they are popping up everywhere across Portland and seem to be a popular thing for developers in dense metro areas. I completely get the negative reaction to this. Sometimes condos can seem like glorified apartment buildings and in many ways are the visual symbol of the ongoing rise in housing prices. However, for some home buyers, particularly first time home buyers, a condo might make sense to own.
The bottom line with condos is this... Just like with single family homes, there will be some condo buildings you find ugly, and some you will find gorgeous. I believe it is important not to dismiss them out of hand though only you, the buyer, knows what is right for you.
Far Less Maintence
Whether you own a single-family home, a condo, or a duplex, maintenance is a fact of life. Lawns must be mowed, pools cleaned, buildings painted and roofs repaired. When you live in a condominium, you will be required to pay a homeowners association fee (HOA). This fee takes care of normal maintenance so regular maintenance will be part of your budget and will take none of your time. This is a primary reason it makes sense to own a condominium.
However, keep in mind that some research should be done by you and your Realtor before buying any piece of property that is associated with an HOA. Is the HOA in good standing? Is it well funded? What does it cover and what are the restrictions that you as a home owner will face?
Location, Location, Location!!
For many people location is just as important, perhaps even more important, than the features and size of a home. Condos can be a great way to get the location you want at a reasonable cost. Many condominium communities are in city settings with easy access to entertainment, shopping, groceries, and other conveniences. Rural and suburban communities that include condominiums are often planned urban developments (PUD) that have included the conveniences of city life in the community.
For example, you are someone who wants to live a car free lifestyle or at the very least minimize the amount you use a car, a condo might be a great option to be near plenty of walkable stores and entertainment.
High-End Features For Less
On average, a condominium costs less per square foot to purchase than a single family home, which means that you can get more for your money when buying a condominium. This can make them especially appealing as first homes. Updated kitchen features, high ceilings, wood flooring, updated appliances, all might be out of reach when looking at single family homes, but can be attainable with a condominium.