Know All the Pros and Cons Before Buying a Condo

If you are considering purchasing a townhome or condominium to call home, you already know they can be great if you’re looking for a low-maintenance property. However, there are pros and cons to this type of property, and you need to be aware of these before you seriously launch your home search.

Here’s a summary of some of the differences between townhomes, condos and single-family residences and what you need to consider before you buy:

When you purchase a single-family home or a townhome, you own the land underneath your home. In a condo, your condominium association owns the land underneath. In condos, and to some extent in townhomes, you pay association fees for landscaping, roof replacement, painting and other services that benefit the entire development. In most single-family homes, you don’t pay fees and are responsible for your own maintenance.

If you are looking at purchasing a condo and plan on financing it, you will need to find out if the development is on the Fannie Mae and/or Federal Housing Administration approved list. For a variety of reasons, some developments aren’t on the approved lists, meaning you may have challenges getting financing. Some developments may be able to be approved if their rules and regulations fall within lender-approvable guidelines.

With a condo in particular, you and your real estate attorney should understand the property’s rules and regulations before submitting an offer. If there are items that seem too restrictive, you may want to look elsewhere for a place to live.