Are you considering investing in a condo but wondering if it’s worth the money? Investing in a condo can be incredibly exciting and financially beneficial. But before diving into any decision, it's essential to know what you're getting yourself into.
Condo investing brings unique considerations that may not be as apparent when buying single-family homes or other properties – from understanding ownership rights and responsibilities to being aware of potential risks and returns.
Condo investment is a type of cash flow investment, which means you'll receive consistent income from rental payments or appreciation. Before getting started, you should know what cash flow investments are.
To help make sure your investment is a success, we've outlined some key things investors should consider before putting their money on the line with condominium investments.
What Properties are Considered Condos?
Condominiums, or condos for short, are a type of real estate characterized by their common areas, such as swimming pools and clubhouses, and shared responsibility for the upkeep of the building. They are individually owned units, such as in a high-rise building. They are different from apartments and townhouses as they have separate ownership deeds.
Condos differ from single-family homes or duplexes in that the owner shares responsibility for maintaining common areas with other owners. This means that instead of taking care of your lawn and driveway, you might share a pool and tennis court with neighboring owners within the same building.
It is essential to know what amenities are included in condo ownership as each installation is different; some may include parking space and storage units, while others may not.
Condos are great alternative housing options if you're wondering how to invest in real estate with little money but still want the privacy of having your own separate living space.
Pros and Cons of Investing in a Condo
When considering real estate investments, it's crucial to weigh the pros and cons of investing in a condo. We also recommend checking out real estate investor tips before investing in a condo.
Pros of Investing in a Condo
Affordability: Investing in a condo can be affordable compared to buying single-family homes or townhomes. Condos are generally more reasonably priced than other housing options. They can come with amenities like swimming pools, fitness centers, and even concierge services that may not be included in the price of other types of homes.
Low Maintenance: Owning a condo also appeals to those looking for low-maintenance living. Since most condos come with an on-site management team, the responsibility of taking care of the building and its amenities is taken off the shoulders of the condo owner. This means owners can spend more time focusing on their own lives instead of worrying about lawn care, pool maintenance, and other housekeeping duties commonly associated with owning a single-family or townhome.
Flexibility: Condo ownership also provides flexibility to those looking for an investment that can be easily liquidated. Since condos are usually located in densely populated areas and offer desirable amenities, they typically maintain their value better than other housing options. This makes it easier and quicker to sell a condo if the need arises. Condos are also an excellent investment to provide Airbnb hosting services. The complete Airbnb host checklist ensures you get the most out of this opportunity.
Cons of Investing in a Condo
Lack of Privacy: Condos are typically built close together and often have shared walls. This means that sound can travel easily between units. If you live in a condo, your neighbors may hear every conversation, TV show, or piece of music you play in your home. Additionally, neighboring balconies may be located just feet away from your own, which can be an invasion of privacy.
Limited Space: In a condo, you typically only have access to the interior walls and space you buy. The association owns the exterior and shared areas (lobby, hallways) and is not included in the purchase.
Maintenance: Most condo associations are responsible for maintaining the shared areas of the building, but individual units may require more frequent upkeep. Depending on what type of unit you purchase (studio, one bedroom, etc.), you may have to do more maintenance than you would with a single-family home.
Lack of Appreciation: Condos typically don't appreciate as much as single-family homes, meaning their value may not increase significantly over time. This can be especially true in markets where the demand for condos is lower than for single-family homes.
How Well Do Condos Appreciate in Value?
When it comes to condos, the appreciation value is often seen as a major benefit. Appreciation in the value of a condo can have significant financial implications for investors and homeowners alike.
The data shows that much like single-family homes, on average, condos appreciate better with an increasing cost of living. Condos appreciated by an average of [38.4% over the last five years](https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/condos-may-be-appreciating-faster-than-single-family-houses/2017/04/17/37355930-238f-11e7-a1b3-faff0034e2de_story.html#:~:text=Median condo market values rose by 38.4 percent over the five-year period%2C while median single-family detached houses appreciated by 27.9 percent.), while single-family homes appreciated by an average of 27.9%.
However, that difference may not be as significant as it seems. Condos often appreciate at a higher rate than single-family homes in areas where property values are rising faster than incomes, especially in cities. Condos can often appreciate even faster than single-family homes in urban areas where inventory is tight and demand is high.
Key Things to Consider Before Investing in a Condo
Before making such an important decision, considering different aspects of condo ownership is essential. There are several points to consider before taking this big step.
The owner-occupancy rate of a condo building is an important indicator of its stability. You want to ensure that most owners in the building are living there full-time. A higher number suggests that people have invested in the property and care about maintaining it, which can help ensure your investment lasts for years.
HOA Management and Fees
Another critical factor is the condo association or Homeowners’ Association (HOA). It’s essential to understand how the HOA is managed and what fees you can expect. You should also see if the fees are stable or have increased over the years. Ensure any amenities that are promised are actually provided.
When you buy a condo, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations of your property. Make sure you read through the bylaws and determine the restrictions. This includes pet policies, noise levels, and parking regulations. It’s also wise to check if there are any planned upgrades or renovations to the building that you should be aware of.
Finally, you want to consider the resale options of your condo. Look into what similar units in the area have been selling for and how long they take to sell. This will give you a good indication of what kind of return on investment you can expect from your purchase. You should also talk to a real estate agent specializing in condos to understand the market better.
Key Takeaways: Is Investing in a Condo Worth It?
Investing in condos is worth it if you are looking for an affordable investment opportunity with minimum maintenance and the potential for a good return on investment.
- Condos can appreciate better than single-family homes, but the difference may not be as significant as it seems.
- It’s essential to consider the owner-occupancy rate of a condo building, the management and fees associated with the HOA, any property restrictions that might exist, and resale options before investing.
- By researching and asking the right questions, you can make sure that you are making an informed decision when investing in a condo.
If you think condo investment is for you, check out more blogs on investment tips to create a reliable and successful investment portfolio.