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Buying a Condo: What to Expect

Condos are becoming an increasingly common home choice for Americans. They offer the advantages of home ownership with the simplicity of maintenance-free living. But buying a condo can be considerably different from buying a traditional free-standing single family home. Here are some special differences to watch out for when considering a condo:

  • Renters vs. Owners. Every condo complex has a different mix of people who own their own units and those who rent. Depending on your own needs, desires and lifestyle, you may favor one mixture over another. If you’re looking for stability and steady neighbors, make sure you’re in a unit that predominately has owners living in their own units. If you don’t mind a bit more flux, then one with more transient tenants might be a better fit for you.
  • Home Owner’s Association fees. Almost any neighborhood these days charges for HOA services, but condos tend to have higher fees because they offer more amenities and maintenance than traditional HOAs. Depending on your complex, these fees might run hundreds of dollars a month, significantly increasing your monthly housing expenses. Make sure you want the amenities you’re paying for, and that you factor these costs into your monthly budgeting before you sign on the dotted line.
  • Sound. One of the advantages to a single-family detached house is that there are no shared walls. You don’t have to deal with noisy neighbors or thumping music late into the night. But depending on the layout of the condo, you might be sharing walls again. Which walls are shared? Are they ones in relatively quiet areas or where you don’t spend much time, like the bathroom? Or will your bedroom and their bedroom share a wall? Get nosy about soundproofing, and make sure you have the level of privacy you want.
  • Logistics. Is parking included? Is it assigned or first come, first served? Is it indoor or outdoor? What maintenance is covered by the complex, and what are you expected to do for yourself? Make sure you fully understand the unique situation you’re entering.

Condos can be a wonderful home for families of all kinds, but they do pose some unique challenges. If you’re interested in learning more about condos for sale in Indianapolis, Fishers or Carmel, give Polaris Real Estate a call and let us help you find the home that’s right for you.

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