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Condos can be a great option for many buyers. But is this type of home the best fit for you? Let's examine some of the pros and cons of buying a condo.

Pros

Maintenance. Most condominiums require very little maintenance from their tenants. Yard work and the like are done and paid for through your monthly dues. Reserve funds are saved up by the condo association for larger periodic repairs, such as roof replacement and painting.

Amenities. In many condominium communities you'll find you have access to a clubhouse, pool, exercise facilities, concierge, or even door security. These great perks cost you nothing extra and are quite the draw for many buyers.

Condo Board. Neighborly disputes happen. You like it quiet. Your neighbor loves their music. Instead of having to address the issue yourself, you can always rely on the condo board to ensure that order is kept, both of the grounds and of the residents.

Cost. In many cases, you can find a condo in your preferred neighborhood for a cheaper price than a single family detached home. This can come in handy when parents want children to go to the best public schools in the area. They may not be able to afford the house around the corner, but they can afford the condo in a community.

Social Living. Many condo residents find that their quality of life is improved by the neighbors they develop friendships with. Some communities have social gatherings and mixers on a regular basis.

Cons

Monthly dues. While the condominium unit itself may come with a cheaper price tag, once you add in monthly dues or fees you could see yourself being priced out of the property. Condo fees range widely, but in some markets and communities can be several hundred dollars a month. And remember, these fees continue even once the property is paid off.

Limited Outdoor Space. Yes, you may have a patio or a balcony, but most condominiums lack any sort of yard space. And what outdoor space the community does offer, is of course shared space with the other residents.

Limited Space in General. You may luck out and find a condo with a garage or storage units. If so, you are in the minority. If you have lots of things to store, and no extra space to put them, remember to add in a storage rental space into your monthly expenses before buying.

Less Privacy. You share a wall with your neighbors. You may even have neighbors above or below you. In this case, remember the noise factor.

Resale. There are fewer buyers looking for condos. Large families are generally on the hunt for a single family dwelling.

Poor Management. What happens if your condo manager hasn't kept enough money in reserve for repairs? The extra expenses are earned through a "special assessment" of the residents. This means you may be slapped with a bill -- unexpectedly -- costing you hundreds of dollars. Poorly managed condos can also run down very quickly. Broken sidewalks, overgrown hedges, and disorderly residents spell disaster for resale value.

Condo Board. You notice this was on the pro side of the list as well. That's because while a board can be your best friend for helping keep order and for dealing with neighbor issues best left for the management, they can also be a little too heavy on the rule making. Some condo boards are very strict. And that extra gnome you wanted to display, just might cost you more than you bargained for.

Subletting. Did you know that a condo board can make it "illegal" for you to rent your unit out? Be sure to check out the rules before you buy, especially if you are considering using the property as a rental unit at some time.

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