Renting may seem like a more popular choice for some who feel they aren’t ready to jump into home ownership, but with rental costs continuing to rise is it still the better choice to lease rather than making a purchase on a home?
Zillow research finds, “For a while last year, it looked like the U.S. rental market might be headed for a serious slowdown. Year-over-year rent growth dipped below 1 percent. Now rent growth has picked up again – Nationally, median rent rose 2.4 percent ($34) year-over-year to reach $1,472 a month in February.”
The question then is, are you still doubting your financial ability to buy a house of your own? If you have good credit and a documented income, then you might be able to afford a condo. Tools such as an affordability calculator can help you understand which condo price ranges, along with HOA fees, are suited for you and your salary based on loan guidelines.
So, if are you excited about the prospects of committing to a new place you can call home, here are 5 additional reasons why investing in a condo is a great potential choice for your first home.
You Can Save Money
How much are you paying for rent right now? Did you know that in the current market, you are probably paying more for rent than springing for a mortgage and homeowner association fees, combined?
In case you had never thought about it, a condo also provides the benefits of recreational space, amenities, activities, external repairs, and water or garbage might even be included in the HOA (homeowner association fees). This factor drives down the overall costs of upkeep and maintenance even lower as compared to buying a single family detached house.
You Can Save Time
Me personally, I always thought I wanted a home with a big yard! Well, about five years ago we got one, but now my weekends (when I’m not showing houses) are filled with landscaping and upkeep of that yard! Living in a condo means that you can save time instead of doing outdoor and lawn maintenance such as trimming the hedges or mowing the grass. Homeowner association fees generally cover all of that.
You Can Make New Friends
There’s no doubt that buying a house in the suburbs gives you quietness and privacy when you need it, but many of the newer ones are generally pretty far out in the suburbs. This makes it a bit more difficult to get out when you want to visit your favorite hangouts, or eat at your favorite local restaurants.
You could expect that a condo located in a nearby university or an urban spot guarantees that your neighbors and fellow condo owners are generally going to be young families, grad students, and young professionals. The chances to meet new friends increase because there are common recreational spaces and areas to mingle. Take your dog out for a walk, or take the bike out for a spin and you might just make some new friends! If your condo management team is active, and onsite, they would also probably get in the community spirit and host meet-and-greet events to get to know your condo neighbors better.
A Condo Is A Solid Investment
Opting for a condo is a great investment even when you plan to live in it only temporarily. Before signing the purchase agreement however, check to see if the homeowner association would allow you to rent out your place. Not all HOAs will allow this, and it helps to cross check every detail before you commit to making a purchase. If they do allow rentals, then great! After a few years, or when the time comes where you need more space, you can put it up for rent and earn a little additional income. I’ve shown several properties lately in Athens, GA, home of the University of Georgia, where buyers were looking at condos in-town and near campus for the purposes of an Airbnb! My buyers found that these were more profitable, especially on Fall – Game Day – weekends than doing long term rentals!
You Can Choose Where To Live
As I mentioned earlier, living near the heart of a bustling urban center is more costly than selecting suburban houses further out. You may not have much of a choice with a limited budget. You will have a broader scope of options with the same budget when looking for condos. That condo in a college town or downtown area is still generally lower than a single-family home in the same location making them a most affordable purchase!