Why buy when you can rent?
November 15, 2010 4:46 PM Subscribe
I'm kind of clueless about condos. Help?
posted by backseatpilot to Home & Garden (22 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
We've sort of been idly mulling over the idea of buying a home at some point in the next few years, and we had assumed that when the time came around we would be ready to move out to the 'burbs and find a nice, single family home that we could afford. Lately, though, I've been growing more convinced that I'd really rather stay in the city, where (affordable) condos are much more prevalent than single-families.
I really don't know the first thing, though, about buying or owning a condo. My biggest question, I think is this: how do they compare, "investment-wise", to owning a house? I put this in quotes because we don't want to use any property as investment/leverage, but I am concerned about being able to sell it if/when we would ever want to move further out of the city. Do condos retain value like houses? Is it easy to transition from condo to house, or will be basically be "starting over" when that time comes?
Second - condo fees. We pay them, what do they cover? What's considered reasonable, as a percentage of monthly mortgage payments, for a condo fee? What outside of our surrounding four walls are condo owners generally responsible for?
Other random questions: who owns the land under the building? The places we would be interested in are units in two- or three-family buildings - is owning in one of these remarkably different from a larger building? If you now own or ever owned a condo in the past, would you do it again?
Finally, is there ultimately one compelling reason for or against owning a condo versus renting a similar apartment?