Condos can seem like the perfect home idea. You have your own space without having to worry about repairs and maintenance of common areas. Of course, owning a condo may come with some headaches. Are you looking to buy a one bedroom condo?
Some of the pros include being part of an instant community, less expensive than a house, and less responsibility over maintenance. Cons may include high mandatory costs, privacy concerns, and funds mismanagement.
If you’re looking to own a one bedroom condo, you may need to weigh the pros and cons against your financial situation, lifestyle choices, long-term goals, and your personality. Let’s dive into why you should or shouldn’t buy a one bedroom condo.
Pros of Buying a One Bedroom Condo
Condos have recently been gaining popularity as the baby boomer population seeks smaller spaces that are easier to manage. Buying a condo can also be a great idea for someone thinking of starting a family. Here are some of the pros when considering buying a one bedroom condo.
Condominiums are generally more spacious than apartments. So a one bedroom condo will be much more spacious than a one bedroom apartment. The space will be comparable to a single-family home without costing as much.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of a condo is that other people do the maintenance for you. The Homeowner Association (HOA) will take care of lawns, swimming pools, and shovel snow for the owners. This can be a huge benefit if you’re too busy, in poor health, travel often, or just don’t like doing chores.
Most condos are in gated communities or buildings with locked entries and doorkeepers. Additionally, with neighbors close by you have people you can turn to in times of trouble.
Condos put you in close proximity to other people at similar stages of life. There are usually kids playing around, seniors enjoying their retirement, and young professionals creating real-life networks
A one bedroom condo can offer amenities far beyond what you would get with an apartment, at a much lower cost than if you bought a home. Some popular condo amenities include:
- Swimming pool
- Fitness center
- Members’ club house
- Kids’ day care
- Sauna or steam room
- Rooftop terrace, lounge, or garden
- Banquet halls, private cabanas, and BBQ areas
One bedroom condos typically have a lower buying price than single-family homes. In fact, buying a condo is usually the first step when one is getting into home ownership. The loan and mortgage requirements are friendlier while the credit ratings requirements are lower.
In the past, single-family homes would appreciate faster than one bedroom condos. That was mainly because a house comes with the land.
However, due to increased demand for condos and a trend toward minimalist living, condos have been appreciating in value faster than single-family homes. According to the California Housing Market Report, prices for condos continue soaring even after pandemic worries. For instance, prices in Shasta were up by 81% in February 2021 and up 48% in Monterrey.
Proximity to City Life
Condos are traditionally built close to thriving downtown areas. Many people like the quiet living of a condo community combined with the access to city life.
Many people love the appeal of being within reach of a vibrant city. For example, some want to walk or cycle to their workplace and avoid sitting in traffic. Others want to attend night classes, visit new restaurants, or even live close to medical specialists. Additionally, living close to the central business district increases the likelihood of your property value rising.
Cons of Buying a One Bedroom Condo
Even though buying a one bedroom condo comes with a multitude of enticing benefits, there are some downsides. These include:
Even though being part of a community can be a great thing, living so close to other people has its own headaches. Some neighbors will keep tabs on when you come and go, who you’re with, and everything else about your personal business.
In a condo, you may have neighbors living on the other side of the wall, across from your door, on top of your unit, and below. You often are bombarded with noises from their arguments, celebrations, crying babies, sports watching, and even music recitals.
Living in a condo means living by rules set by your HOA. For instance, the HOA may have rules about what types of pets you’re allowed to keep, how many visitors you’re allowed at a time, or the types of home improvement renovations you’re allowed.
If you’re the kind of person who finds such rules stifling, then a condo is probably not your best option.
Poor HOA Management
The value of your condo highly depends on the quality of your HOA management. If the HOA is the kind that drags their feet on repairs then your unit will quickly lose a lot of its value.
Mandatory HOA Fees
With a home, you can opt in and out of the amenities you’d like to use. You can cancel your gym membership or close your pool for a season. When living in a condo, you have to pay for the amenities whether you use them or not. Even if no one in your household swims, you will have to pay for the pool maintenance.
Owning a condo comes with the reality that you don’t have control of how your HOA fees are used. The HOA board gets to decide how to use funds, which suppliers to use, and what investments to make. For instance, you might think the condo needs to resurface the parking lot while more influential members feel a dog park is a better investment. You have to live with their decision even when you disagree.
Potential Funds Mismanagement
A well-managed HOA results in a smooth-running community with enough funds for current and upcoming projects. However, not all HOA’s are led by qualified or competent managers. There are many HOAs with incompetent leaders at the helm. These poorly-led HOAs will often face issues of fund mismanagement, delayed repairs, and strategically poor investment decisions.
Is Buying a One Bedroom Condo Good Investment
Buying a one bedroom condo can be a sound investment. If you’re looking for property likely to appreciate, with low maintenance input, and low mortgage requirements then a condo could work great.
However, if you don’t like living in a tight community, under other people’s rules, and are sensitive about your privacy then a one bedroom condo may cause you frustrations rather than satisfaction.