Getting ready to purchase your new home is an exciting step in life, and knowing what kind of place you’d like to call home is a large part of that process. To assist in making your transition to a new living arrangement easier, let’s go over how to know if you should buy a house or condo in Los Angeles.
A SOCIAL SETTING
The first thing to consider when looking into condos is understanding that they don’t exist in a vacuum, and you would be joining part of a community.
Each condo complex is going to have rules and regulations that may differ from one location to the next, and they will come with their own culture. If you want to purchase a condo, make sure you pay close attention to what’s going on in all areas of the building during a showing, not just your individual unit. Make sure you’re comfortable with anyone you encounter, and be upfront with any questions or concerns.
On the other end of the spectrum, buying your own house is likely to provide a lot more privacy, and allows you to retreat into that privacy a lot easier if you desire.
EXAMINE YOUR FINANCES
Once you begin to take a look through local home listings, you’re almost certainly going to see that homes regularly cost substantially more than condos.
A good portion of this is that, when you buy a house, you’re also purchasing the land on which the home resides. In the case of a condo, you’re purchasing the condominium unit alone, and not a portion of the complex’s land.
Having said that, budgeting carefully in order to save as much as possible prior to making any home purchase will make securing any financing easier. You need to also take into account additional costs of owning a condo coming from any attached homeowners association, or HOA. The HOA acts as a governmental body of sorts for the complex, and will normally require payment of dues.
Be sure to get any information regarding HOA dues before signing off on anything.
When you live in your own home, you’re responsible for all areas of maintenance, both interior and exterior. On the other hand, a condominium relieves you of some maintenance in the form of a property management company and your HOA.
Typically, the property management company handles any maintenance related to common areas of the condo complex, but your HOA may also require increased dues to pool money for repairs in other zones of the complex.
This is another subject that you will want spelled out to you before moving forward on buying any condo.
Ownership is the ultimate goal when purchasing either a house or condo and then building equity in that purchased property.
With a condo, you’re building equity within the unit itself, whereas with a home, you’re building equity on both the structure and land.
A major aspect of buying any living space is the land on which it sits, and you’re less likely to qualify for lines of credit or have as positive of an impact on your credit score by building equity in a condo.
A final facet to keep in mind is what your plans for the future may entail.
If you’re interested in starting a family, purchasing a home would usually appear to be the more practical choice. If you’re looking to settle into a place on your own and you find the social environment provided by a condo complex appealing, then it’s certainly worth looking into.
Don’t make your home purchase just about right now, but also what you’re needing to get out of it in the coming years.