3 reasons not to buy a condo

3 reasons not to buy a condo.png

3 reasons not to buy a condo

There are lots of reasons to buy a condo instead of a single family home, including a lower purchase price, more central location, reduced maintenance, and greater access to amenities. Despite these many benefits, the condo lifestyle is not ideal for everyone.

The same things that make condo living desirable to some people are enough to put others off, including the socialization, rules and regulations, and existence of condo fees. Let's take a look at the biggest reasons why you shouldn't buy a condo.

The community

The condo lifestyle is all about embracing a sense of community. Not only are you surrounded by other unit owners, you'll also come into regular contact with your neighbors as you use the amenities and stroll through the hallways. While connecting with others and becoming part of a community is a major benefit of condo living, it can also be challenging and sometimes leads to problems.

If you've become accustomed to living in a detached house in a quiet suburb, the inner-city condo lifestyle can be difficult to get used to. While all condo communities have rules and regulations regarding noise levels, feelings of solitude, privacy, and peace can be hard to come by.

Not everyone wants to have a conversation with their neighbor as they take the elevator to work, or share a piece of gym equipment with a new friend who lives down the hall. While the community aspect of condo living can be a life-affirming change for some people, it can be a major annoyance for others.

The rules and regulations

When you move into a condo community, you are obliged to abide by the rules and regulations of that community. Whether it's keeping noise levels down after certain hours, not adopting a dog, or choosing the electric dryer instead of the balcony railing when you need to dry your clothes, there may be times when you feel restricted.

Lack of personal freedom is one of the major reasons why you shouldn't buy a condo, especially if you're a sensitive or stubborn person who is used to getting their own way.

Before you purchase a condo, it's important to take a detailed look at all relevant rules and regulations, with documents available directly from the Condo Board. While most of these rules are based on common sense and shared between communities, there can be major differences between buildings and cities.

If you're a retiree looking to move into a 55+ community, it's important to be aware of the age restrictions and age group ratios that are in place. If you plan on letting your unit, take note of any subletting restrictions and how they may affect your plans for rental income.   

The condo fees

Perhaps the biggest reason to avoid condos is so you can avoid paying condo fees. Also known as maintenance fees, condo fees are typically paid monthly to the Condo Board in exchange for repair and maintenance of the building exterior, common assets, and common areas.

When you buy a condo, you take ownership of the interior of the unit, along with the right to use these common areas and assets.

While condo fees differ widely between buildings, they are likely to represent your single biggest expense apart from your mortgage. While some people have no issue paying condo fees, others struggle with the concept of paying for a home that they already own.

While avoiding condo fees is a valid reason to say 'no' to the condo lifestyle - remember -  you will have to perform and pay for your own home maintenance, which can cost you time, money, and a lot of stress over the life cycle of your mortgage.