Home buyers in greater Cincinnati wonder if buying a condo is the right deal for them.
The better questions to ask might be- what type of life style, commuting distance and amenities are you looking for in your home? Many of today’s buyers are not interested in big back yards or a large single family home that requires both indoor and outdoor maintenance. Plus, many of the condos on the market are conveniently located close to work or in walkable neighborhoods with food and entertainment located within a few blocks.
If your goal is to plant a huge vegetable garden, house 4 cars and blast your sound system at odd hours then condo living may not meet your needs. Most complexes and buildings have “Home Owner Associations” and HOA rules and regs ( and yes many neighborhoods of single family homes have the same set-up) Many Associations limit the number the number and type of vehicles, changes to the exterior, the number of pets as well size and weight of dogs as well as restrictions for what can and cannot be done in “common areas”. And if you’re looking to make an investment today, live in it for a few years then rent it for income- check the rules and regs- because many complexes/buildings do not allow rentals.
Make sure you carefully review all the rules and regulations before signing the final documents. Most of today’s purchase contract include clauses which give the buyer a time frame to review and approve the documents- make sure you review all the pertinent documentation.
Most condos require the owner to pay a monthly HOA fee to cover things like building maintenance, common areas, trash removal, and depending on location- grass cutting and/or snow removal. While buyers want low monthly fees, associations need a “slush” fund to cover ongoing repairs (roof, elevators, structural) and it’s usually better for most owners to pay a little more each month than be assessed several thousand dollars to cover major repairs.
And finally to answer the biggest question- will a condo value hold its value? Well nothing is guaranteed in the world of real estate. Your agent can run a report detailing sale prices, expired listings, number of units currently for sale and in some cases the comment sections of the local MLS’s includes notes about short sales and bank owned properties. Make an informed decision when you buy any real estate.