Condo living definitely has undeniable advantages. That’s why condos are so popular now, especially among aging Baby Boomers. On the flip side, though, there are some drawbacks to condo living. So you have to carefully consider your needs and your lifestyle before making a decision. With that in mind, here are some pros and cons of condo living in Los Angeles.
Pros of Condo Living in Los Angeles
One of the most popular pros of condo living is the fact that you don’t have to take care of the maintenance – it’s all done for you. If you live in a condo, you won’t have to mow or fix the roof or paint the exterior. This is an advantage for people who are in poor health, are getting up in years, or simply don’t want to be bothered with all that.
SECURITY AND SAFETY
Another pro of condo living in Los Angeles is the security and safety it affords. In most cases, condo communities have gated or locked entries and sometimes even doorkeepers and resident security professionals. In addition, the simple fact of living in close proximity to other people increases the security factor.
Condo living also means plenty of amenities to make that life both fun and interesting. Condo communities typically offer pools, game nights and other social activities, gyms, and more.
Although condos have historically not appreciated at the rate of single-family homes, that is now changing. Today, condos are a better investment when it comes to appreciation. Between 2012 and 2017, condo values rose 38.4% while the value increase for single-family homes was 27.9%.
Cons of Condo Living in Los Angeles
Perhaps the most important con of condo living in Los Angeles for most people is the homeowners association (HOA) fees they will have to pay. All the amenities and the maintenance and upkeep you don’t have to do yourself have to be paid for somehow. HOA fees vary according to location and what they cover, but on average these fees run about $300+ per month.
POTENTIAL FOR MONEY MISMANAGEMENT
A related issue concerning condo living is that there exists a potential for mismanagement of funds, especially those HOA fees. Typically, HOAs have two kinds of accounts: an operating account for regular maintenance and a reserve account for long-term or major projects such as parking lot resurfacing. The problem, though, is that these funds may not be used by those in charge of them to do the jobs they are intended for.
LACK OF PRIVACY
Another con of condo living is the inherent lack of privacy because it is so much like apartment living, with lots of people living close by or separated from you only by a wall. This means that you often hear everything your neighbors are doing, and they can hear everything going on inside your home.
NOT ALWAYS EASY TO SELL
If you ever decide to sell your condo, you may find it fairly difficult, more difficult than selling a single family home. The factors that make a condo difficult to sell include:
- Most people with children don’t want a condo.
- The HOA fees can scare people away.
- Lenders may not approve a mortgage if the association isn’t financially healthy.
LOTS OF RULES
Condo living also means that you will be restricted and constrained by the many association rules. You probably can’t install a solar panel on the roof, and you may not be able to have pets.
Ask Your Agent
So is condo living in Los Angeles right for you? The answer depends, of course, on what you want and what you won’t put up with. Your local agent can be a wealth of information in trying to make this decision.