Interested In Condominiums? Things you should know...

Posted by Carolyn A. Capalbo on Wednesday, June 27th, 2018 at 2:24pm.

Condominiums are a great choice of home and offer many conveniences.  Condominiums are typically a more economical entry into the housing market.  Land costs, the closer into Washington DC, are astronomical.  To be able to afford a home on a parcel of land will typically cost more than owning a condominium.  Condominium ownership is really a type of ownership versus a style of home.  Perhaps you are searching a high rise building or a townhouse styled condominium.  The facts remain that you are purchasing the interior space of the unit and not the exterior walls or grounds.  Since you are only committing to the purchase of the interior space of the unit, you will be required to be a part of the Condominium Association and pay significant fees and dues to cover the Associations expenses, maintenance budget, amenities, and services.  You will not be responsible for mowing the grass in the summer or plowing the driveway in the winter.  Often times, the Condo Association will include your water, sewer, and trash services in your monthly fees.  The Condo Association may offer recreational amenities such as swimming pool, tennis, and fitness center.  There are even some Condo communities that offer Concierge services.  Understanding the costs of these monthly fees and their inclusions is critical to managing your budget.  Often, reasonably priced units, carry lofty fees.  Please reach out to me if you have questions regarding condo fees and what they include! Many condominium monthly fees exceed $1,000 per month!  These fees could make the unit too expensive for your budget.  

Another point to consider with Condominiums is financing.  The lending guidelines surrounding financing condominiums is much more rigorous than traditional homes.  VA financing and FHA financing approvals are for specific condominium projects.  Not all buildings are approved for financing.  In addition, investors love condominiums as these units require little maintenance and rent well.  Lenders monitor the concentration of investors in a community and will not finance units in a condo complex with a high density of investors.   The good news is that many buildings and complexes are financing friendly.  Please reach out to me to discuss if the condo you like will qualify for your financing.

Is parking a concern?  Some communities have deeded parking and others have ample parking.  Some buildings rely on street parking.  Some communities frequently tow offending vehicles.  If you are looking to park, this is a consideration.  If you choose to use public transportation, I always recommending checking out for the nearest public transportation access to your condominium.  We can also check to see the proximity to shopping and other conveniences without a car.  Uber and Lyft have really made an impact on the need for a car as these services have become a very efficient and cost effective way of getting around town without a owning a car.

I love condos; however, in some cases, it might make sense to review the numbers and see if a traditional purchase can work for you as well.  My previous career was in finance and banking.  I am excellent at planning and budgeting.  Feel free to reach out to me with questions regarding what might be the best solution for you!

Carolyn Capalbo, Best Northern VA REALTORCarolyn Capalbo,
Northern Virginia REALTOR®


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