Many real estate owners are turning to condos because of the advantages condo ownership offers over home ownership. However, not every condo is suited to every Virginians' lifestyle, as condo types vary along with the pros and cons of each.
Like there are many types of houses, there are also different types of condos, each offering different advantages.
• Townhome or Row house Condo: Like the name suggests, these are a series of connected condos set up in a row and sharing walls. There are no units above or below these condo. The most common type of row house is a split level with a first level garage and front and back lawn areas.
• Apartment Condo: These complexes are set up like apartment buildings with multiple units on multiple floors. They feature shared entryways and shared hallways. The building itself can range from a low rise to a high rise, duplex or triplex.
• Semi-detached or Detached condos: These are most like single-family homes with no shared walls. Semi-detached unites share one wall with one other unit.
Condo owners have to pay condo fees, maintenance fees or HOA fees. The fee amount has to be factored into purchase decisions, as it is paid monthly and can make a low mortgage higher. Depending on the complex, the condo fee can include gas, electric, cable, water, sewer and trash and other amenities.
The range of amenities available to condo owners makes condo living a desirable option for some. Condo fees are used in part to fund features such as pool houses, community pools, gyms, media centers, and playgrounds. Another chunk of condo fees is applied to the condo complex's overall maintenance. Owners are not responsible for grass cutting, walk and driveway shoveling, or roof fixing. Some complexes have onsite maintenance workers who attend to any maintenance issues inside a unit.
For first time home buyers looking to make their maiden voyage into home ownership, buying a condo may prove to be the less stressful option. Condo owners possess the deed to their unit which allows them to mortgage and sell the unit without any permission from other unit owners or the building owner. Condo owners can enjoy the independence of home ownership without having to worry about the maintenance issues that come with owning a single family home. Condos can also offer more square footage than traditional homes for less money, allowing those with lower budgets to find suitable housing.
Condo living is advantageous to various Virginia lifestyles. For people interested in independent living with the least amount of hassle, it's a viable option.