When asked about the American dream of homeownership, most people usually have in mind a single family detached home in the suburbs. However, that mindset is rapidly changing as more people are choosing condominiums or town homes as their first home, especially in highly priced real estate markets such as California. Most consumers do not realize that condominiums are being built and located in a variety of places. They can be located in a high-rise building in the city or in a sprawling complex in the suburbs within excellent school districts and can vary dramatically in interior design and amenities. The following are seven reasons a buyer might want to consider a condominium as their first home purchase.
1) Affordability - Less Expensive Than Single Family Home
Condominiums tend to be less expensive, about 20% to 30% less than existing singly family homes. In California, where the median price of a home is $559,640.00 that can be a savings of approximately $150,000! However, price alone is not solely the factor for choosing condominiums as there is a new market for luxury condominiums located in prime locations for example by the coast, within cultural centers in a city or in gated communities in golfing communities.
2) Better Urban Planning And Design
The price of land is so expensive in many cities that cities are requiring higher density housing in or near urban areas, so consequently, builders have shifted to building condos and townhouses. This shift in housing enables a condominium owner to live near the city and close to where they work as opposed to in the suburbs and therefore avoid long commuter drives. To illustrate this growth, “In 2001, condos and townhomes were just less than 10 percent of the 9,453 new homes sold in the nine-county Bay Area (California), according to Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, a real estate market research firm. By 2005, that number had jumped to 42 percent of the 14,821 homes sold. ”
3) Luxury Amenities
All of the amenities, i. e. gyms, pools and community centers, are located right on site and the buyer doesn’t have to maintain them. The maintenance costs are usually included in your monthly homeowner’s association fee.
4) Closer to Work and Urban City Life
Consumers are becoming more attracted to higher density urban housing. Home buyers want to be near public transportation and shopping and closer to work. While possibly not applicable in rural areas of the country, in California, an average daily commute can take up to one-and-one-half hours. That can quickly add up to 15 hours a week commuting to work, time that can be spent constructively elsewhere.
5) Reduced Maintenance Required By Homeowner
A detached single family home requires a lot of maintenance to keep it in prime condition. A condominium also requires maintenance, but the homeowners’ association is responsible for the upkeep of the grounds and all common amenities.
6) Amenable to A Busy Lifestyle
People who travel a lot on the job are often attracted to condominiums as they are less likely to look abandoned when they are away extended periods from their home and benefit from the increased security often associated with condominium complexes.
7) Builds Equity & Owner Can Enjoy Homeownership Benefits
Rather than renting, a condominium owner can enjoy the same tax benefits, i. e. the deduction of mortgage interest as a homeowner does and can enjoy the appreciation of his property as he builds equity for the time period he or she lives in the condominium.
Condominiums are not for everyone but in some real estate markets they are worthy of your consideration for what they can offer a potential buyer. A buyer needs to consider their own personal circumstances and lifestyle and choose what suits them best.
Nef Cortez has been a licensed real estate broker and has held various positions in the real estate and mortgage industry for over 25 years. If you would like to read more of Nef's pithy and timely advice (with the latest info on local foreclosures), visit his website at Diamond Bar Houses or read his blog at Southern California Real Estate Blog