Are you thinking of buying a Salt Lake City condo? While there are many advantages to buying a condo rather than a house, there are also some drawbacks that you will need to consider.
#1 HOA Restrictions
Condo developments are communities which are governed by something called the Home Owners Association. This body is setup to look after the maintenance and upkeep of the units, but also produces documents that dictate what residents can and cannot do. Resident restrictions can cover many different areas, for example can you operate a home based business and what types, what pets you can have, if you can rent the unit, etc. It is very important you read the HOA documents to make sure you are OK with their restrictions.
#2 HOA Fees
In order to maintain the property the HOA demands a fee (usually monthly) be paid by residents to cover costs. This fee is used to maintain the upkeep of the building, and can be several hundred dollars a month. It is worth noting that many new home developments are now starting to charge HOA fees, but they are usually less than those seen in condo developments.
Some condo developments include a swimming pool, tennis courts, hardball courts and other facilities. While this may seem great to some people, if you are not going to use them you have to remember that you will still be paying for them via your HOA fee.
#4 Poorly Run HOA’s
If an HOA does not keep up with maintenance or poorly manages its money, just like any organization it can get into financial trouble. Prospective buyers should always read the minutes from the HOA meeting in order to ensure that there are no problems. After all you don’t want to be hit with a large one off charge, or HOA Fee increase because the roof needs to be replaced. If a HOA gets into trouble it can make it very difficult to sell a unit.
#5 Limited Private Outdoor Space
Condo developments may have a roof garden or a court yard but there is usually very little outdoor space, especially private space. And if you like to garden then condo life may not be for you.
Of course there are many advantages to the condo life; you don’t have to take care of maintenance, you can have access to facilities, it can be more secure… You just need to weight up the pros and cons of owning a condo vs. a house before you make the plunge into the Salt Lake real estate market.