Condominiums combine pride of ownership with the amenities of resort living. Whether situated in a sleek modern high rise, family friendly suburban center or near the shore, condominiums are becoming increasingly popular with young families, professional singles and active seniors.Cost
If you're ready to graduate from apartment living to home ownership, a condo is a great place to start. Depending on the area where you choose to buy, a condominium can run as low as half the price of a comparable single family home. Even when you factor in the Homeowners Association (HOA) fee, you may be able to live as cheaply as renting while building equity you can convert later into another home or income property. Many lenders evaluate the fiscal strength of the HOA before approving the mortgage, so you can feel secure that you're buying into a complex that is financially sound.Location
If you're a dedicated urban dweller who loves to live near the heart of a metropolis, close to performing arts centers, museums and fine dining, condo living is often the only option in areas where single family homes are either nonexistent or exorbitantly priced. On the other hand, condominium developments in suburban areas can allow access to quiet neighborhoods and good school districts without the cost of a single family home. Buying a condo in a resort area near the ocean or a golf course is a popular choice for empty-nesters or retirees. These homes can also be used as vacation destinations or rented to generate passive income when not in use.Amenities and Community Living
In addition to desirable locations, most condominium buildings or complexes offer amenities for the community including swimming pools or tennis courts and park areas or playgrounds for children. Some buildings even feature workout centers and laundry services. Obviously most of these perks would be out of reach for the average buyer of a single family home. Many associations also allow pets - usually a no-no in apartments. While condo living isn't for everyone, some people thrive on the closely knit communities that can form in condo complexes. Family oriented buildings make it easy for children to find friends nearby and seniors often enjoy joining activity groups with like-minded neighbors.Maintenance
While home ownership may be part of the American dream, finding a roofer to repair a leak during a storm can be a nightmare. One of the great benefits of condominium ownership is that most or all exterior maintenance is handled by the Homeowners Association. Yes, you will pay into the fund through a monthly fee, but you will never have to clean the pool, mow the lawn, shovel snow or worry about replacing outdoor lighting, repainting or roofing the building. On the other hand, in contrast to apartment living the interior of your home belongs to you, meaning you can repaint, decorate or even remodel your kitchen without attracting the attention of a grumpy landlord.Security
For many people one of the biggest draws of condominiums is the level of security and the attendant peace of mind that it brings. Many communities are gated and others employ security officers to greet visitors or patrol the grounds. Most units include indoor parking for residents, so you won't have to leave your car in the driveway or on the street. The proximity of neighbors means that help is nearby in the event of a medical or other emergency. You can also safely leave your home to travel without worrying about finding a house-sitter or someone to collect your mail.
Buying a home is a large and long-term investment. If you're looking for a starter home, a retirement home or a vacation retreat, a condominium can meet your needs at an affordable price.