Condos: What to Know Before You Buy

A condominium, or condo, is a type of housing unit that is part of a larger building or community. Condo owners own their individual units, but they share ownership interest in the common areas of the building, such as the lobby, hallways, elevators, and pool.

Condos are a popular housing option for people who want to own their own home but don’t want the hassle of maintaining a single-family home. Condos can also be a good investment, as they can appreciate in value over time.

Benefits of buying a condo

There are many benefits to buying a condo, including:

  • Affordability: Condos are often more affordable than single-family homes, especially in urban areas.
  • Less maintenance: Condo owners are responsible for maintaining their individual units, but the condo association is responsible for maintaining the common areas. This can save condo owners a lot of time and money.
  • Amenities: Many condo buildings offer amenities such as pools, gyms, and community rooms. These amenities can add to the enjoyment of living in a condo.
  • Security: Condo buildings often have security features such as gated entrances and security cameras. This can make condo residents feel safe and secure.

Drawbacks of buying a condo

There are also some drawbacks to buying a condo, including:

  • CC&Rs: Condos are typically subject to covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs). CC&Rs can restrict things such as what pets you can own, how you can decorate your unit, and how you can use the common areas.
  • HOA fees: Condo owners must pay monthly homeowners association (HOA) fees. These fees cover the cost of maintaining the common areas and providing amenities. HOA fees can vary depending on the condo building and the amenities it offers.
  • Noise: Condos can be noisy, especially if you live in a unit that is near the elevator or a common area.
  • Lack of privacy: Condo residents often have less privacy than single-family home residents. This is because condo walls and floors are often shared.

Things to consider before buying a condo

If you are considering buying a condo, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • CC&Rs: Read the CC&Rs carefully before you make an offer on a condo. Make sure you are comfortable with the restrictions that are in place.
  • HOA fees: Find out what the HOA fees are and what they cover. Make sure you can afford the monthly payments.
  • Noise: Consider the noise level of the condo building. If you are sensitive to noise, you may want to choose a unit that is away from the elevator and common areas.
  • Privacy: Think about how much privacy you need. If you value your privacy, you may want to choose a condo unit that is not located near other units.


Condos can be a great housing option for people who want to own their own home but don’t want the hassle of maintaining a single-family home. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of buying a condo before you make a decision.

Here are some additional tips for buying a condo:

  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage: This will give you an idea of how much money you can afford to borrow and will make you more competitive in the housing market.
  • Work with a real estate agent: A qualified real estate agent can help you find the right condo for your needs and budget. They can also guide you through the buying process.
  • Inspect the condo: Before you make an offer on a condo, it is important to have the condo inspected by a qualified home inspector. This will help identify any potential problems with the unit.
  • Negotiate the price: Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price of the condo. The seller may be willing to compromise, especially if you are making a pre-approved offer.

Buying a condo can be a big decision, but it can also be a rewarding one. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding the right condo for you and your family.