Real estate is an excellent investment option for most people because it provides sizable investment returns, and land is a scarce commodity that continues to become scarcer due to population growth. Unfortunately, purchasing single-family or multi-family units isn’t possible for everyone. Such dwellings can cost a fortune, depending on where you live and the neighborhood you’re looking to buy in.
In such instances, condos can provide a greater value for money while still letting you own a property.
What is a Condominium, and How Does It Differ from a House?
Condominiums are single-unit dwellings within a multiple-unit property, usually an apartment-style building. Buying a condo means you own your individual unit. However, you’ll be sharing common areas and amenities with your neighbors. These usually include pools, parks, playgrounds, gyms, etc.
A condo association usually manages the upkeep and maintenance of these condo complexes. They typically act as a supervisory board and hire a property management company to handle the day-to-day operations.
The current economic climate and skyrocketing inflation have prompted many people to rethink their professional and housing situations. Living costs have skyrocketed in some US states, such as California and New York, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic. States such as Texas have been relatively sheltered from rising living costs. In addition, Texas also has lower income and corporate tax rates, prompting many people to move there.
This mass influx has caused property prices across Texas to shoot through the roof. Austin has become a hotspot for most people looking to move to Texas because of the city’s vibrant nightlife, strong economic situation, and affordable housing.
If you’re considering purchasing a condo in Austin, TX, check out the Natiivo Austin condos for sale. Natiivo Austin is one of the finest residential skyscrapers with fantastic amenities, such as a state-of-the-art fitness center and a resort-style rooftop pool.
Whether you’re purchasing a condo in Natiivo, Austin, or another building, this article has some helpful tips to assist you in your home-buying journey.
- Create a Budget and Save Up
While condos are usually cheaper than single-family homes, they still require a substantial investment. Ensure you start saving early and create a budget according to what you can afford. Start by calculating your annual income after taxes, also called your take-home pay. If you’re purchasing a condo with a significant other, ensure you calculate your combined income.
Once you’ve calculated your combined income, deduct your monthly expenses from it, such as food, travel, gas, utility bills, etc. You’ll be left with a remainder amount, which you can dedicate to mortgage payments, home association fees, property taxes, etc.
According to the National Association of Realtors, the average cost of a preowned condo is generally $45,000 to $50,000 lower than a single-family home. But while these are substantial savings, you’ll still need to start saving up early to pay for a condo.
Furthermore, many first-time buyers often forget to account for moving expenses, closing costs, and HOA fees when buying a property. As a result, they often go over budget. Hence, consult with an experienced real estate agent before purchasing your condo.
- Consider Your Lifestyle
Another important thing to consider is whether your lifestyle is well-suited to living in a condo. As previously discussed, condos are generally cheaper than single-family homes. However, they offer less privacy.
But living in a condo can also benefit you. For instance, you don’t have to worry about mowing the lawn or trimming the hedges because most condos share an outdoor space. Such outdoor spaces are maintained by the company responsible for managing the entire condominium complex.
On the other hand, if you’re someone who likes to host events at home with friends and family members or like a large backyard, a condo might not be ideal for you since you’ll have to share thin walls, ceilings, and floors with neighbors.
Therefore, strongly assess your lifestyle before opting for a condo.
- Decide What You Need and Want
It’s important to understand that, like single-family and multi-family homes, not all condos are the same. Some condominium complexes are barebone offerings, while others offer every imaginable amenity. Condos in the latter category will include a gym, swimming pool, outdoor grills, etc. These amenities sound appealing, but they come at a premium, which will be reflected in the condo’s price.
Consider making a list of needs and wants before searching for condos. Your needs should impact your condo more than your wants. For instance, if you’re a family of four, you might be looking for a condo with two or three bedrooms and might be willing to forego the luxury amenities.
- Find a Real Estate Agent Who Knows Condos
Finding the right real estate agent for your needs has never been easier. The internet provides you with a wealth of information at your fingertips. A quick Google search can lead you to many highly-rated real estate agents based on online customer reviews.
Furthermore, you can also ask friends and family members who have recently purchased a condominium to provide recommendations.
Ideally, you’ll want to find a real estate agent who has a proven track record in condos. They’ll help you navigate the process by reviewing condo association documents and addressing any concerns you might have.
- Research the Company Managing the Condo
Since condominiums are primarily managed by property management companies who are responsible for their upkeep and maintenance, do your due diligence and learn more about the company managing your condo complex. It can be frustrating for homeowners to pay association fees only to have poor management negatively affect their living experience.
Ask questions about who manages the day-to-day operations when touring condos and meet the people in charge. In addition, research the company’s reputation online for a better idea.
- Review Regulations and Association Fees
Most condominiums also have association fees. You’ll need to account for these in addition to your mortgage payments. Furthermore, they’ll also charge you for property maintenance and upkeep. Review these fees with your real estate agent and learn everything you can about what they cover. In addition, ensure you ask the property management company about how often and by how much the fees will increase.
Furthermore, ensure you learn more about the community housing rules before moving in. Some condominium complexes have noise restrictions or rules about reserving common areas beforehand.
Finally, also ask the company about how they handle issues and complaints. Pay close attention to their response because the company’s policies will affect your living experience.
A condo can be a fantastic and affordable purchase for people looking to buy a home or invest in real estate. However, ensure you consider the things listed in this article before making a purchase so that you find the condo that’s just right for you!