4 easy tips for great condo living

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Condo living has become very popular in North American cities, as young and old alike gravitate towards the low maintenance and modern amenities of the inner-city lifestyle. Moving into a condo is often seen as a lifestyle choice, with people looking for socialization and localization as they try to avoid the distance and isolation of modern suburbia.

This way of life is not for everyone, however, with condo fees, rules and regulations, and in-your-face neighbors more than enough to put some people off. Proactive measures are often needed to avoid the problems associated with condo living, so let's take a look at some common sense condo living tips.

Meet the neighbors

When you buy a condo, you're buying into a community, a tribe, a way of life. While you can try to bury your head in the sand and avoid the neighbors, you're going to run into them eventually. The best advice is to meet them first with a smile, ideally before you've even moved in.

Whether it's young professionals, first-home families, or retirees, many modern condo buildings are designed to cater to a specific demographic. If you do your homework right from the start, you can avoid many of the personal conflicts that can accompany condo living.

Make friends with the board

Along with your neighbors, it's also important to make friends with the Homeowners Association (HOA). Instead of running away from the board or trying to pretend they don't exist, it's normally a better idea to get acquainted with key board members and possibly take on a volunteer position.

Even if you don't have a management bone in your body, it's always beneficial if you can develop an understanding of how the board functions and makes its decisions. If you want to become part of the decision-making process and contribute to the team, that's even better.

Read the rules and regulations

Living in a condo means abiding by a number of rules and regulations. Whether it's noise restrictions, pet ownership rules, or subleasing guidelines, it's important to know exactly what your rights and responsibilities are.

The HOA will have a copy of all relevant rules and regulations, so take some time and do some light reading so that you can help yourself and others to navigate this brave new world. Key condo documents include the declaration and description, by-laws, and rules and regulations. If any problems do arise in the future, it's always better to be educated.   

Be considerate and tolerant

It might sound obvious, but the key to successful condo living is consideration and tolerance for others. Living in a condo will never be like living in a house, and you have to make some compromises along the way.

Flexibility is incredibly important if you want to create valuable long-term relationships. Give people a break if they're a little noisy occasionally. Offer to help your new neighbor move their furniture. Be a nice person and you'll be amazed how much nicer the world will be to you.