How Condo Ownership is Different Than an Apartment

How Condo Ownership is Different Than an ApartmentOwning a condo is becoming an attractive option for a lot of people because of the convenience of “condo life”. Not only are condos often less expensive, but they also require less maintenance than single-family homes. As renters start looking for options to become property owners, buying a house or owning a condo can be a difficult decision to make. Here are some insights you can expect when you are transitioning from renting into condo living.

Advantages of Condo Ownership

Unsurprisingly, ownership is the best part of living in a condo. By owning it completely, you have the ability to do what you want inside of your living space. The setup of condos is similar in many cases to an apartment complex, but that’s where the similarities end. Think of them like owning a single-family home, but without a lot of the maintenance. To see other advantages of condo ownership, view our blog Condos and Single-Family Homes: Which is the Right Fit?

Responsibilities of Owning a Condo

Being able to make changes to your condo also means you are going to be responsible for whatever happens inside of it. You can do anything, even including a complete internal remodel, unless otherwise stated in the terms set by the Homeowners Association (HOA). However, there is no landlord that has to repair your appliances or plumbing if something goes wrong.

With great freedom comes great responsibility! Every condo has a contract that details what is and is not your responsibility to maintain and what you can and cannot change. Generally speaking, anything within the walls of your space is up to you.

Homeowners Association

Condominiums are owned by all the residents who form what is called a Homeowners Association (HOA). This shared ownership is managed by a HOA or a corporation that is created specifically to manage the condo. When you live in a condo, remember that you are included in the HOA and have a say in how the condo is run and maintained. That being said, so is everyone else you share the complex with, so get permission for things you do outside of your private space. For instance, if you want to change the lighting or update the furniture shared by everyone in the public spaces, you will need approval from the HOA.

There are shared spaces (workout gym, gardens) that are governed by the Homeowners Association (HOA), so some changes need to be approved by the HOA, but there is far more flexibility than there is in any apartment you don’t own yourself.

Are Payments Different When Owning a Condo?

Owning a condo works similarly to owning a single-family home, except that there are a few key differences. First, instead of saving for a rainy day when something breaks down on the exterior of your home or improvements need to be made to the lot you live on, your HOA dues finance those costs. In 5 Things You Should Consider Before Buying a Condo, we discuss more about what these fees cover.

Secondly, the terms of financing a condo can have some additional requirements. Closing costs can be higher to include the costs of moving in and using some of the facilities. The rates also may be higher because of the added risk inherent in condominium mortgage loans. However, if you pay 0.75 percent up front or make a down payment of at least 25 percent of the purchase price, you can avoid the higher rates. Read more about mortgage rates when purchasing a condo at – What’s Different About Getting a Condo Mortgage.

Lastly, insurance for condos is essential because the HOA will most likely not covers repairs for anything inside your condo if a disaster happens. Getting condo insurance will help when disasters strike or an accident when guests are on your property. At TJ Woods, we get people the help they need by finding the right insurance for their new condo. Contact us to find out more.