Don’t let single family home prices stop you from kicking your landlord to the curb. When even the most basic of starter homes soar in price, there’s always the trusty condo to fill the void.
If you’re opposed to even the thought of condo living, consider the purchase a stepping stone – a way to build equity to use for your forever home. The condo market in Los Angeles has been on fire for the past 8 months but it seems to be slowing down. It’s a good time to reconsider buying a condo.
Read on to learn about more good reasons to consider buying a condo.
1. Less expensive than a house
Unless you lust after the penthouse unit in The Carlyle, you’ll likely pay less for a condo than a single-family home. And, if you shop wisely, even the Homeowners Association Fees tacked onto the mortgage payment won’t put you outside your comfort zone. Yes, there will always be HOAs fees, but I can help you shop for a condo with lower dues. Steer clear of full-service buildings and look for fewer amenities. Maintenance of a pool, high-end fitness center and a valet add to the monthly costs of running a building. A building with lower HOA fees, can also signal a financially well run building. Often the fees include your basic cable, trash, some utilities and possibly earthquake insurance.
2. On-site amenities
If the private elevator, valet parking and high-end fitness center is on your wish list, you’ll find condo communities that offer these amenities (and more) with homes less expensive than buying a single-family home with the same amenities. Yes, the HOA fees will be higher, but, again, your final monthly payment as a homeowner will be less than it would be if you owned a single-family home with similar amenities.
3. Low maintenance living has its perks
The upside of not having your own private backyard, means no lawn to mow, weeds to pull, leaves to rake and trees to prune. Part of your HOA fees cover the cost of common area landscape care. If the community has a pool, the HOA takes care of its maintenance, too. Think of all the free time you’ll have compared to your friends who own single-family homes. Your weekends will be maintenance-free.
4. Be social, or don’t
Ask any of your single-family-home-dwelling-friends how many of their neighbors they know. Sadly, the answer will most likely be anywhere from none to very few. Sure, there are vibrant neighborhoods with connected neighbors, but by and large, most Americans tend to isolate themselves from those who live nearby. In fact, a Pew Research study finds that only 28 percent of people living in a neighborhood know their neighbors by name. Condo living puts you in closer proximity to your neighbors. Whether that’s a positive or a negative depends on how sociable you are. If you like getting to know your neighbors you’ll love this aspect of condo life.
5. Building equity and more
We touched earlier on buying a condo as a stepping stone. Not only will you build equity to put toward a future purchase, but owning a home has tax advantages as well. Yes, tax laws are in flux right now, but you will still receive homeownership benefits that you won’t have if you continue renting.
6. Feel safer
Many condo developments offer security features. Whether it’s a gated community or one with a roving guard or even a community with camera surveillance, security is a feature lacking in many single-family homes. This is especially important to people who live alone and may feel vulnerable. Even a community lacking robust security features will feel safer simply for the fact that you live in close proximity to others, so seeking help in an emergency is far easier.
If your aim is to live in the heart of the city or within walking distance to popular area amenities, you’ll find few single-family homes from which to choose. But, this is where the condo market shines the brightest. Ditching the commute—or even the car—is a distinct possibility with urban condo living. Do reach out to us if you’re considering purchasing a condo. I am happy to walk you through the process and show you what’s available now in your price range.