Having lived in a single-family home before we bought our current condo, I’ve recognized some distinct advantages to condo living. While there can certainly be downsides to this style of living, after several years, we’ve begun to grow accustomed to certain benefits. And while any homeownership role can come with responsibilities, owning a condo can make for a nice balance between renting and owning a home.
Fewer homeowner responsibilities
When I was the owner of a single-family home, almost every weekend was filled with repair or maintenance projects of some sort. And while such activities were a joy at first, feeling the pride of figuring out how to fix our home, over time they became somewhat routine and monotonous, not to mention costly both in time and money.
While we still have a variety of repair and maintenance issues that we pay for through our monthly assessment fee as condo owners, we aren’t in charge of conducting most of them. While maintenance of the interior of our unit is up to us, we aren’t spending hours shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, patching concrete, and more, leaving those activities to the management company and hired contractors instead.
A maintenance escrow account
While a monthly assessment can seem like a financial burden, in some ways, it’s kind of nice too. When we owned our single-family home, we were responsible for budgeting for and setting aside money for certain repairs. These costs might range from a few dollars for a new toilet tank stopper to hundreds of even thousands of dollars for things like a porch awning replacement, garage roof repair, sump pump replacement, and similar repairs.
Now, as condo owners, rather than us having to set money aside for such repairs, as well as for items like trash pickup, lawn maintenance, snow removal, and more, such costs come out of our monthly association fee. Not only this, but additional money is set aside for future maintenance and repair projects, and a reserve account is funded for any unexpected issues that may arise.
Crowdfunding for major issues
Living with a bunch of other residents in the same building or community can certainly come with disadvantages, but there may be benefits too. When major issues like a roof repair or replacement, a pool repair, window replacement, or similar big ticket maintenance work comes along, being able to spread the cost over 60 or 70 or more individual units can help reduce the financial impact that may come with such work. This sort of crowdfunding can minimize and make possible repairs that could come at a substantially higher cost if having to fund them as a single-family home owner.
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The author is not a licensed financial or real estate professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.