Introduction

It would be nice to walk out of your residence to the local corner store or even to grab an espresso at your favorite café. You think to yourself what type of residence can offer walkability that young professionals and many people need as of today? The condominium is the answer. Given that building a structure that can house many people and be situated in an urban setting surrounded by public transportation, local dineries, and companies, allows an idea of what condos offer. 

A condominium situated above a mall with convenient access to cafes and dining spots.

Advantages of Living in a Condominium

 

  • Urban living typically consists of multi-family units, such as condominiums

    • Walkability of your neighborhood matters for students, young professionals, and those that do not drive or have transportation restrictions.

    • Enjoying your neighborhood – parks, restaurants, bars, or shops.

    • Communities thrive in condominiums.

      • Easy access to neighbors due to living in closer proximity to one another.

  • Condominiums are priced lower than detached single family homes.

    • The property value of condos depends on the market, but recent studies have shown condos appreciating at a higher rate than single family homes.

  • Cost for maintenance and landscape is included in a homeowner’s association monthly fee

    • Homeowners Association (HOA) can be defined as an organization in a subdivision, planned community, or condominium that makes and enforces rules for the property and the residents.

    • What type of maintenance is provided with an HOA?

      • HOA’s detail the declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions within the parameters of the owners of the properties.

      • Typically, conditions include structural restrictions for retaining walls, fences, etc., allowed landscaping, exterior touches for the property.

    • Each owner becomes a member of an HOA and will share in the cost for external assistance or share in the exterior duties.

      • These duties consist of landscaping, painting, replacing fences and roof spouts, and cleaning the surrounding amenities.

        • Amenities range from a gym, pool, to gated and/or secured entries.

 

How do I ensure condo-living is the life for me?

 

  • Research the homeowner’s association and if they have ample money to keep facilities’ regular maintenance.

    • Low fees do not always equate to a good HOA.

    • Consider the payments for emergency issues if the HOA has small membership. Assessment fees may be warranted when the HOA lacks a financial reserve to pay for it.

      • Emergency issues could be burst pipe, etc. Basically, any non-cosmetic fix.

    • Smaller condominiums may result in member’s struggling to maintain the monthly HOA payment. Consider this when choosing a property because a larger property will more than likely not feel an impact if some members miss their payment.

  • Familiarize yourself with the potential neighbors.

    • Consider the pets within the development and any other communal features.

 

House versus Condo

 

  • Homes typically will have a yard, and with that comes the need to maintain your yard.

    • Landscape costs will need to be covered by the homeowner or done by the homeowner.

  • Homes do not have an HOA. Some subdivisions do have HOA fees, dependent on the features and community.

    • Maintenance of the home is the owner’s sole responsibility. In the case of an emergency, the owner will need to take care of this. There are no reserves or assessment fees. 

  • You decide what goes in, out, on, and off the property. Any exterior improvements to the home are the home owner’s singular decision within their property lines.

    • Customize your home with the unique features you would like.

      • Remember that custom features that are not a housing trend may lead to a hard time reselling.

  • Privacy from other neighbors, potentially. Newer homes in populated cities are being built closely together, even though they are detached.

    • You may end up needing to drive to the market or your favorite restaurant. 

      • The sense of community is still there with neighbors within a single-family residential community. An effort to meet your neighbors may be needed more so than living in a condominium development.

      • Pets more than likely will not be on your property, but intruders may be such as coyotes and wild animals in more rural developments.

    • Subdivisions are typically developed outside of established cities due to much opposition and resistance of building in congested areas.

  • Resale value of the property is typically higher than a condo. Studies have shown a higher appreciation on condos as of late, but the price range for detached single family homes goes higher than condos in most cases.

 

Developers should Consider the following:

 

  • The cost to develop land within a city or more dense land use will be higher.

    • The cost to develop in a major city like New York or a heavy metropolitan area like San Francisco or Los Angeles is exponentially higher than less developed cities.

    • Since the cost to develop in a city is much higher, a condominium and/or multi-family housing development is more of an incentive for developers to get a return on their construction costs.

  • The more of a rural or less populated area the less people are going to want to pay.

    • The developing areas have less infrastructure, and seclusion so building multi-family development in the outskirts of town may result in low sales of the condos.

    • Secluded areas attract people who want large plots of land and time away from the hustle and bustle of the city

Read about the multi-family housing program here and the benefits of investing in one.

Conclusion

There are many benefits for living in a condo. Also, there is a benefit for developers to take on the higher construction costs to make condominiums in an established city. Many city-goers want shared living, walkable communities, and low maintenance homes. The advantages of living in a condo can lead to some great properties that house great neighbors!


Hire a Design Everest professional to assist in determining the areas that multi-family housing developments, such as condos, will be suitable. Our team can get you started today, by calling (877) 675-9828. We can also connect you with a professional engineer or designer right away for a virtual consultation or virtual on-site!

Sources/References:
  • https://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/hoa.asp
  • https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2016-06-26/3-reasons-to-buy-a-condo-and-3-reasons-to-beware
  • https://www.constructionspecifier.com/discovering-what-it-costs-to-build-in-44-major-cities-worldwide/

*Note: The content published above was made in collaboration with members of Design Everest.

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