(Closed) Does anyone own a condo?

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 3
Member
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

We own a condo, there is one other unit in our building (it’s a two family house). We can do whatever we want with it in our unit. The common areas (parts of the basement, backyard and garage), we decide together. I think the key is looking over the condo documents to see how decisions are made. We did not meet the other family before we moved in, which we should have done. Luckily, everything has worked out fine with them.

Post # 5
Member
3521 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

For condos that are part of a larger complex, the rules are generally tighter.  Balconies and decks have to be kept up, there are rules about what you can have/not have like grills, holiday lights, etc.  In my complex, you can only have white showing through your windows, so if you want colored curtains, you have to have plain white shades first. 

Inside your condo, you can do what you want though (usually have to have a certain % carpeted if you’re an upstairs unit).   The biggest thing about condo living is checking to make sure the condo fees aren’t a huge additional expense.  Mine went from $75/month to now $220 just 7 years later.

Post # 6
Member
2440 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

With our complex we can do whatever we want inside the house (it’s a single family attached house, so we share one wall with our neighbors).  We cannot add onto the house and any porches/sun rooms have to be approved through the association.  You can paint the outside of your house but it has to be one of the 3 approved colors schemes.  For the most part you can landscape however you like (we have full front yards and backyards) with the exception that certain trees cannot be planted here and all yards have to be kept well maintained.

Post # 7
Member
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

We have a townhouse in a pretty large complex, but our rules are still pretty loose.  The HOA takes care of the outsides of the building (including our 2 balconies and roof, which is really nice) and you can do whatever you like with the inside.

The only thing I really don’t like is that when people come to visit, they have to park in designated “visitor parking” spaces.  It’s not a big deal (there are plenty right near our unit) but it’s awkward to explain to people–our group of friends all grew up in the same area and we’re more familiar with single family homes and driveways!  But it really works out okay.

It’s not our forever home; I am dead set on a single family in the future, but for now it’s a great way to get into the market.  We couldn’t have afforded anything bigger, and this is really nice for now.

Post # 9
Member
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I own a condo, and it’s my first place on my own.  Between my morgage and my POA fees, it works out to be about the same cost as renting in my area.  I can do whatever I want inside, and outside there are rules (it’s in a complex) but they’re not strictly enforced.  I’d say that it’s a great way to get your feet wet with homeownership, with out having to mow the lawn, worry about the roof, clear your own sidewalks in the winter, etc.  Eventually I will want a single family house with a fenced in yard for my dog, but for now, this is great. 

Post # 11
Member
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I think if you make improvements you can increase the value just as you would a SFH–you just have to be careful not to over-improve in comparison to your development.

Most of the units where we are have finished basements, but ours is unfinished (despite being a walkout basement with a big glass sliding door to the outside).  So we’re hoping (if we ever have money again after that painful downpayment) to finish the basement at some point, which would obviously up the value.

Post # 12
Member
1679 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

DON’T DO IT unless you live in downtown Boston. 

I love my condo.  But, there is a surplus of condos and there are developers building new ones, too.  With interest rates so low, many people will opt for houses in less urban areas.

If you live downtown, obviously, there are always people looking.  If you live out in Natick or beyond, I wouldn’t do it.

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