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Condo Living in Today's Market

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By : Jamie Mathwig    99 or more times read
In today's economic environment, it is becoming more and more difficult to enter the housing market for many young people. Increases in the cost of living and large gaps between the rich and the poor have contributed to this. For many who are looking to become homeowners for the first time, the idea of purchasing a condo rather than a house is more appealing than it ever has been.

There are many different types of condominiums to choose from. You will find both high-rise and low-rise apartment buildings, single detached homes, townhomes, and some condos that include commercial space. Some people would prefer to own a unit in a building, while others may prefer to live in a home that is physically separated from others by space. What suits any given buyer will vary due to their particular tastes and requirements of a home.

Depending on the condo unit, different amenities will be included in the purchase price. If there are things like pools and parking spaces, they may be included or require additional fees. Utilities such as gas, water and electricity may be covered in the owner's monthly fees, but in some instances they are not. It's up to the buyer to learn what is included in the purchase price, and to understand any expenses that will be additional. All of this must be thoroughly examined before making the purchase.

Rules and regulations also vary between different complexes. There may be restrictions or limits on things like pets, parking, noise, number of occupants, and whether or not the owner has the right to rent out the unit. There are often limitations concerning when certain amenities like pools, gyms, and recreational areas can be used. The fewer amenities the unit has, then the fewer the restrictions are that have to be considered. It's up to the purchaser to find out for themselves about any restrictions or regulations, prior to closing the sale on a condo.

Restrictions may also apply to areas outside the condo unit that are exclusively reserved for the owner. This may include areas like lawns, storage spaces, parking spots, and balconies. Even though these may be reserved for an owner's exclusive use, there can also be restrictions regulating how and when they can be used or accessed. For instance, residents may not be permitted to have certain items on their balconies, such as barbeque grills or birdfeeders.

As condominium units vary greatly depending on where they are located and the kind of development that it is, questions should be raised prior to the close. Information should be able to be found by consulting with the realtor, the seller, property manager, board of directors, and any documents governing the condo.
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