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First-time homebuyers have more choices than ever before when it comes to picking a home. While for many, a home translates to “house” there are other home ownership options to consider. Condominiums, or condos, are an excellent choice for first-time buyers for several reasons. Depending on where you live, they might be more widely available than detached homes. Here we’ll go over 5 reasons condos are great for first-time homebuyers.
Spend Less Up Front
In most places, a condo has a lower purchase price than a house. You might think that this is simply because of less square footage and decreased privacy, but depending on the development you can have it all for a much lower price. A lower cost will also mean a lower minimum down payment required for a mortgage. This will save you money you can spend on other things like appliances or furniture.
Let the HOA Handle It
Condo properties all have a property management body typically known as a Homeowners’ Association. These organizations have rules for living in the community and also charge an additional fee. For that fee, the HOA of your condo building will handle upkeep of all public spaces and building exteriors. This can include parking structures, fencing, gates, landscaping, outdoor lighting and even more depending on the particular complex.
Even though you don’t own the entire property, you own your own condo unit. This means you have the freedom to customize the interior as you see fit. Paint, paneling, hardwood floors—it’s all up to you. Unlike with many rentals, you can drill as many holes and hang whatever you’d like on the walls. Some condos will even allow you to replace built-in appliances like stoves with those of your choice, giving you even more options for customization.
Use Community Amenities
Some condo communities offer excellent amenities to their residents. Spas, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, fitness centers and even small general stores are all things you can find included in some complexes. There might also be communal space available for hosting parties and other large groups as well as organized community events. Each condo community has different offerings and different ways of paying for them, so research carefully. You may need to pay a monthly, quarterly or annual fee to the HOA in order to access the amenities.
Invest in the Future
If you eventually decide to move out of your condo, you can keep it as an investment property. With the increasing popularity of private home vacation rentals, you can generate excellent side income by renting the space to others. Just make sure that you’re following all the community rules for vacation renting. It’s also a good idea to consult an accountant to help you take the best advantage of the investment opportunity without getting in tax trouble.
The availability of condo property depends highly on area. However, in some parts of the United States, condominium real estate is even more active and popular than it is for detached single-family homes. This means there are plenty of qualified real estate agents and brokers who specialize in finding you the perfect condo for your budget and lifestyle needs.