Karen Scopetski's Blog
Whether you are buying a condo as a starter home, downsizing or if you just don’t like taking care of a yard, a condo might be the perfect situation for you. However, even with the plus of not having to maintain a yard, condos do have other pros and cons.
While you won't have to keep up with landscaping or worry about exterior tasks like washing or painting, you are at the mercy of those contracted to complete those tasks. The list of outside chores generally covered within a condo complex is long, including mowing, cleaning gutters, driveway maintenance, trimming shrubbery and otherwise keeping the landscaping and yard maintained. However, if you prefer gray paint on your house and the condo complex chooses to paint it brown, you’re pretty much out of luck. You will have to maintain the interior of your condo and make sure any shared walls are in good condition.
Rules and Regulations
Even when you buy a condo, you have to abide by the condo association’s rules and regulations. That means no pets if that is a rule, even though you own the condo. However, rules and regulations are sometimes a good thing. If you prefer enforced quiet hours or that no one has pets because you are allergic, these types of rules will benefit you.
In a nutshell, a condo is very similar to an apartment. You share walls just as you would in an apartment. You might have people over you and under you. Unless you have an end unit, you have people on either side of you. Some may like living in close quarters with other people — they feel safer and are more comfortable having neighbors very close. But, if you want more privacy, condominium living might not be for you.
If you live in a cooler climate, you don’t have to worry about clearing snow. The driveway is cared for by the condo association, which means it is cleared and then salted so that people do not slip. If the wind blows a tree over on the property, you don’t have to wrestle with a chainsaw to clean it up or find someone who is reliable to show up to clean up the mess.
Depending on how the condo is set up, in addition to walls and ceilings, you might share an interior hallway with others. While you won’t have to keep the hallway clean, you will routinely hear the foot traffic of your neighbors. Most people who live in communities like these are mindful of the amount of noise they create within shared space. However, noise could still be a significant disruption especially when neighbors keep opposite schedules.