BUYING A CONDO: What You Should Know and Benefits

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Unlike single-family homes or townhouses, condos often require less maintenance, making them an attractive option for first-time homeowners. Condominium residents often have access to common areas, as well as the convenience of having a building’s upkeep handled by a separate organization. You do need to permanently reside in the unit. If the condo organization allows it, a condo can be a good rental investment. Read on to know if buying a condo vs. a house is a good investment in Florida and New York City,

What Is a Condo?

Condos, an abbreviation for “condominium,” are single dwellings within a larger complex, such as an apartment building, detached house, or townhouse. It may be one of many in a large building or one of a few in a walk-up. It’s crucial to know exactly what you’re getting when you buy a condo. You possess your own separate space within the building or on the land, regardless of its overall size. Parks, pools, playgrounds, gyms, dog-walking areas, and other community amenities are all considered “common areas” in which you and your neighbors have an ownership interest proportional to their population. Also, part of this definition is the soil beneath it.

A condo association typically oversees the upkeep of the building’s common facilities. The organization serves as a watchdog board and contracts with a property management company to handle maintenance, resident communication, and other duties.

Buying a Condo vs. House

Buying a condo is typically less expensive vs single-family house, which is a major selling point. As of September 2023, the median price of a pre-owned condo was $297,900, according to the National Association of Realtors, which is a significant discount compared to the median price of a pre-owned single-family home, which was $359,700. If you’re trying to decide between buying a condo vs a house, the old adage “you get what you pay for” certainly applies to condos. The smaller size of a condo’s interior and exterior vs to that of a single-family house makes them more inexpensive.

Buying a condo mortgage often has higher interest rates vs those for single-family houses, and a down payment of at least 25% is typically required to avoid including private mortgage insurance in the monthly payment. (In the case of a house, that percentage is twenty percent.) Why? Mortgage companies are wary of condos because of the association’s finances and other potential problems.

Is Buying a Condo a Good Investment

The primary factor in deciding this question is whether you intend to reside in the condo yourself or rent it out to others. Buying a condo as a primary residence is a good investment, but buying it to rent out to others is a much better financial move. The future worth of buying a good condo investment may influence the market’s direction over the next few years. It’s also vital to remember that the appearance of condos might vary greatly depending on the local housing market. When buying a good condo investment, location is often of the utmost importance.

Nate Martinez, owner of the Nate Martinez Team at RE/MAX Professionals in Arizona, says, “If you look at a condo in Phoenix or New York City, they can be radically different.” Condominiums in high-rise structures may have exorbitant homeowners’ association (HOA) dues, while apartments in two-story structures may feel more like typical apartments.

It’s not just the monthly dues that need to be taken into account when buying a home with a homeowners’ association; the restrictions set out by the HOA can also have a significant impact on your ability to use and enjoy the property. Association rules often forbid condo owners from renting out their units. According to Martinez, “it’s crucial to comprehend the bylaws.” We’ve seen a huge influx of homes into the Airbnb and short-term rental markets over the years. It’s legal in certain places but not in others.

Is buying Condo A Good Investment For Rental Property?

Owning rental property is a common way for people to make money on the side. More and more vacationers are opting for short-term rentals like Airbnb rather than traditional hotels. The smaller size of a condo normally won’t affect your bottom line, and you’ll pay substantially less for a condo in a desirable location than you would for a single-family house in the same area, making them an excellent option for vacation rentals.

Local condo rules can vary; some may restrict renting, while others only allow short-term rentals. Prior to signing any rental agreements, verify if your condo association’s rules permit such use.

Who Should Own a Condo?

If you’re thinking about buying a condo, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is, “Are you the condo type?” One reason is that you’re a city dweller. Condos tend to be found in more urban areas. Downtown areas are seeing an increase in the construction of condominiums, with some of these developments incorporating on-site supermarkets, banks, and other services for residents’ convenience. This ease of access may be accompanied by an increase in traffic and noise.

Condominium ownership typically involves joining a Homeowners Association (HOA). There are some rules and regulations that you, as a condo owner, are expected to follow as outlined in the CC&Rs. Condo living may not be for you if you can’t see yourself following the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions. If you don’t follow the rules, you can get sued, get a fined, or be forced to follow the rules.

Some people, especially first-time buyers who can’t afford a single-family house, may find condos to be a good option. One more perk of condo living is the minimal upkeep required. This may be appealing to retirees who want a smaller house that requires less maintenance. For someone who values convenience to the city’s main attractions, condos are a viable option.

Investing in a Condo as a Vacation Home

Buying a condo as a vacation property may be wise. Since a vacation should be enjoyable, renting a condo where you can pay for outside maintenance is appealing. Martinez puts it this way: “I like to say it’s trading bucks for time.” To make a second decision, you must consider how much time you’ll spend there and the total cost.

Vacation homes and rental investment properties are treated very differently when it comes to financing and taxation. Making the most of your investment requires thinking about everything here.

Buying a Condo in Florida

The down deposit and condo questionnaire are the primary conditions for obtaining a loan. When buying a condo in Florida, a 25% (owner occupant) or 30% (investor) deposit is needed (vacation residence or investment). The vast majority of people buying a condo in Florida complexes fail the screening process. This is especially true in resort communities, where visitors outnumber permanent residents. Although it may seem negative, a failed questionnaire simply alerts the lender to a possible risk.

Always remember how important it is to follow the lead of a professional realtor. Having a real estate agent’s advice is very helpful when buying a condo in Florida. It’s a well-known fact that buying a home or condo in Florida is unlike doing it in any other state. When buying a condo in Florida, a real estate agent can help you overcome the homestead exemption when buying a condo in Florida. It can also overcome condo covenants, hurricane insurance, flood zones, and property inspections.

Buying a Condo in New York City

Buying a condo in New York City is a multi-step process, and we’ve laid them all out here.

#1. Hire An Agent

When buying a condo in New York City, it is in your best interest to have someone look out for your best interests and negotiate on your behalf. Your apartment hunting and viewing without an agent may get you this far, but when it comes time to make an offer, you’ll want to have one on your side.

#2. Find Your Dream Home

Buying the perfect New York City condo for sale usually begins with an online search, but a real estate agent can be helpful in providing you with listings that fit your criteria. If you don’t know much about the city or aren’t sure which neighborhood you want to live in, having a buyer’s agent on your side from the start will be very helpful.

#3. Prepare and Make an Offer

If you want to buy an apartment in New York City, the next step is to put up an offer. You should have your realtor run similar market research before deciding how much to offer for the condo. In the comparative market analysis, the condo you want to buy will be especially in comparison to others in the area that is just like it.

#4. Perform Due Diligence

Following fruitful negotiation between you and the seller, you will receive an acceptable offer and draft a deal document. You should have already retained legal counsel to represent your interests in a real estate transaction.

#5. Sign the Contract

Assuming the due diligence procedure goes well and your attorney advises you that the contract and its provisions are in your best interest, you are ready to sign it and make an earnest money deposit. As a deposit, people often put down 10% of the total price, which is then in escrow until the sale is done. The seller’s lawyer will confirm that the earnest money has been received, and the seller will give a fully signed copy of the contract with a countersignature.

#6. Close on Your Mortgage

The next stage in purchasing a condo in New York City is the mortgage closing, if the flat will be financed. First, you’ll check the market for a suitable interest rate lock, and then you’ll get in touch with a lender to discuss obtaining a commitment letter. Even though the commitment letter may have some conditions, it pretty much guarantees the payment of your loan.

#7. Title Search and Title Insurance

Your next step should be to acquire a title report after you have a commitment letter in hand. The title search process usually takes between one and three business days to complete. Title insurance is mandatory in New York City and protects the buyer from any problems with the apartment’s title that may develop in the future. When you have a commitment letter in hand, it’s time to start thinking about acquiring a title report. The title search process usually takes between 1 and 3 business days to complete.

What are the Disadvantages of a Condo?

  • Lower needs for servicing and fixing.
  • The possibility to enjoy nice on-site facilities, including a sauna and swimming pool.
  • More stringent safety measures in some condos. Having neighbors close by will provide you with comfort while you’re away.
  • The payment of condo or HOA dues is often on a monthly basis.
  • Your opinion matters to the condo association. As an investor, you get a say in company affairs and may even be nominated for a board seat.
  • A group of people who share a lifestyle and enjoy social, entertainment, and recreational activities (seniors, for example).

What are the Benefits of Owning a Condo?

  • It’s possible that you won’t have any say in the scheduling of necessary repairs and upkeep.
  • It’s possible that you’ll have to pay for services that you’ll never use.
  • Some condos may have less quiet and greater traffic noise.
  • Unanticipated maintenance may result in a levy of special assessment fees.
  • All sorts of people from all walks of life can find themselves living in a condominium. Consensus isn’t always easy to achieve.
  • Smaller living quarters in certain condos

Are Condos Good for First-time Buyers and Investors?

A condo may be a particularly alluring choice for first-time homebuyers. The apparent benefit is the cheaper price, but if you’ve been renting, you might already be accustomed to condo-style living, so you can continue to live that way while accumulating wealth.

Condos can make excellent long-term investment prospects; they are not simply for individuals with little funds or who intend to sell soon. A condo can be rented out as an investment property where you locate tenants to sign yearly leases, or you might think about renting a condo out on a temporary basis using services like Airbnb or VRBO.

How Much Down Should You Put on a Condo?

Your down payment should be at least 3% of the purchase price, but it can be as high as 20%.
A down payment is an initial payment toward the purchase of a condo. Your mortgage will cover the remaining cost of the unit. In the long term, you will save more money on interest if you make a larger down payment.

What Credit Score do I Need?

When you apply for a loan, in addition to providing information about your assets, liabilities, and income, you will also be required to provide your credit score. Those with a good credit score, defined as 780 or higher, will typically receive the lowest interest rates offered by lenders. Applicants whose credit scores fall within the range of 580 and 600 will be required to make a greater initial payment.

What Will Happen to the Condo After 50 Years?

This indicates that the condo’s age is of little consequence and that it need not be outdated and expensive just because it was built half a century ago. Each situation is treated individually. Most modern condo builders use high-quality, long-lasting materials that are resistant to the effects of daily use. Due to the widespread adoption of cutting-edge technologies, contemporary apartments are expected to look as good as new fifty years from now.

Buying a Condo vs Renting: What’s Right for You?

The decision of whether to buy a condo or rent one can be a little difficult. One choice might be the better course of action, depending on where you reside, how much rent you’re paying, and a number of other variables.

It seems like a terrific idea to own a condo. Though it’s a significant improvement over renting in many aspects, buying a condo as opposed to renting one might not be the best decision. How do you decide what to do and when? Have you saved up money for closing costs and any unforeseen expenses?

If home prices are below the national average, purchasing a home may be preferable to renting. Everything depends on the area you want to reside in. Try calculating the price-to-rent ratio with a straightforward formula.

Use the calculator on your smartphone to determine which condo is the best choice for you after reducing your choices to one that you might buy and one that you might rent that is similarly equipped. What you need to do is as follows:


Is buying a condo in NYC worth it?

Over the long term, buying a Condo in New York City property has proven to be a profitable investment.

Is it smart to buy a condo first?

Condominiums, like single-family starter homes, are great for first-time homebuyers because they allow you to get a mortgage and become a homeowner at a cheaper price and with less responsibility than a single-family house.

Do condos ever go up in value?

The reality remains that most condos appreciate at a slower rate than single-family homes, but this can vary depending on the property’s location.


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