Considering buying a condominium? Be warned: owning a condominium is quite different from owning a single-family home and comes with its own particularities. Before you jump into the condo market with both feet, you should make sure that the condominium lifestyle is right for you.
The benefits and drawbacks of condo living need to be weighed against your own criteria. Is security more important to you than distance from your neighbors? Are you comfortable with community living?
No more backaches from mowing the lawn or shoveling snow. Condo living means someone else takes care of the roof maintenance for you. Condos are governed by a set of rules called Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). This can include restrictions on noise levels, pet ownership, renovations, and even what kind of curtains you can put in your windows.
Because the condo association is made up of homeowners rather than property-management professionals, the association may be weak and inefficient. Also, if you want to make renovations to your unit or rent your unit out, you may have to get approval from the condo association.
If you are on the Board, you have more leverage and can get just about anything you want. But it is a payless and thankless position, trust me....you don't want it. Then you have the Condo Commandos that think they own the entire complex and you feel like you are a little kid at a playground and the class bully is out there harassing everyone! Trust me, I just experienced this today and on several other occasions.
Monthly condo fees go toward maintenance and repair of the common areas. There are occasionally additional assessment fees to handle larger repair jobs. Your fees may also be paying for amenities, such as a swimming pool, that you may not use. We have had people that have put unauthorized cash in their own pocket when they think no one is aware or noticing because of our busylives.
The president of my association likes to go around swearing and raising his hand to women. This idiot is 6'5" tall and a big bully snowbird. He tried to raise his hand to me once and swore at me like an ill mannered jerk that he is. I reported him to the Board which they claim they tried to get him to apologize to me but he refused. Matters got worse that I actually had to write a letter to the Governor of the state of business regulations. Well, they stepped in to try and help but they didn't even respond to my letter until 6 months later!!!!! Yikes.....a lot can happen in six months!
So, yes....not having to do work around your house is a plus and not having to maintain certain outside areas is great. Well, you are paying for it one way or another, it is just less physical burden on you. But then again, for the peace and quiet, you can own your own home and hire people to do the unpleasant chores you either don't like to do or no longer are able to do.
I just wish there was a better way of of maintaining the property instead of a group of mindless unit owners that turn into Condo Commandos that make up the so called Board Members! Irritating to say the least.