One of the results of the recession is that people have been downsizing into smaller homes and condos. This frees them up from having to pay high utility bills and from taking care of their yards, gutters, driveways, and sidewalks. But, before you take the plunge of moving into a condo, there are a few things to consider. From hiring the right San Diego movers to preparing your budgets and lifestyle changes, it’s important to align yourself with what’s to come.
Fees and Assessments
Most condo complexes have a monthly fee that each owner pays. These fees pay for the maintenance of the common areas of the building. They pay for lawn care, snow removal, and other maintenance expenses. Since many people move into condos because they do not want to take care of the exterior of the home, the fee is not a big deal. However, these monthly assessment fees vary and some can exceed $1,000. Most of the fees are based on the size of the condo you live in, so a three-bedroom unit will have a higher fee than a small one-bedroom.
There are often one-time fees that each condo board will assess on the members. These are often for repairs or additions. Since exterior areas and common areas often need to be refurbished, they need to be paid for, so the owners of the units cover those expenses. If you live in a condo and a special assessment is requested, you will have to pay it.
Newer condos do not have as many special assessments because they do not need as much repair as older building. Some special assessments might require a few months to pay and some might last a few years. When you decide to purchase a condo, ask if there are any special assessments that are pending.
Close Quarters with Many Neighbors
Remember that when you move into a condo, you are moving into a smaller space where there are a lot of other people. If you are moving from a big house with a big yard, you might be used to privacy, but in a condo, you do not have as much. Many condo organizations actually plan events so that the residents get to know each other. You may not be able to walk around in your underwear in a condo because of the proximity to your neighbors. You might have to adjust a few of your personal habits.
Rules and Regulations
Despite the close quarters and special fees, there are usually several rules and regulations that exist for condo owners. Many have noise regulations, smoking regulations, and other rules that you are required to live with if you move into the building. Some neighbors will act as watchdogs, reporting every little infraction to the condo boards, which can result in warnings or fines depending on the severity of the infraction. It is important to know what the rules are before you purchase your condo, so you are not surprised with rules and regulations that completely inhibit the way that you prefer to live your life.
Despite these facts of living in a condo, many people still choose to live in one. Being able to spend more time doing what you love, rather than taking care of your yard or shoveling snow is a big draw. Many people also love the fact that they can live in a great location, like a waterfront building, without having to pay the millions of dollars that it costs to live on the waterfront. However, it is very important that potential condo owners look at the fees and rules before they make the change.