Pros and Cons of Condos: Are They a Good Investment?

By: ROS Team October 16, 2021

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Your vacation was beautiful, and now you’re thinking about buying a vacation condo. With a condo, you could retreat there whenever you wanted, be it on sunny shores or high in the mountains. You could also make some extra money by renting it out to vacationers.

Whatever your reasons may be for buying one, you’ll want to know if buying a condo is a wise investment. Here is a quick guide to help you better understand condos.

Are Condos a Good Investment?

Condos are a good investment, and they’re easy to get into. However, you don’t want to end up with anything that’s subpar or that’s been negligently maintained.

condos good investment

Condos are relatively affordable compared to some single family homes; that alone makes buying a condo a good deal. While single-family homes can cost several hundred thousand dollars more, a condo is typically tens of thousands less.

Based on the National Association of Realtors, the median sales price of a condo in the United States in August 2021 was $302,800. The average price of a single-family home was somewhat less expensive: $363,800.

Condo prices have increased by 8% from 2020 to 2021, while single-family home prices increased by over 10.2% during the same period.

Can I Expect My Condo’s Value to Increase Over Time?

Yes–in general, the value of condos will increase over time. This is the general trend of most real estate property that is not mobile or located in a trailer park. However, if you’re torn between buying a condo and a house, bear in mind that the value of a single-family home typically rises faster than that of the condo, but that’s not always the case.

A condo in a desirable location will likely appreciate faster than a single-family home in an undesirable area. The most important thing is to find a cozy condo in an ideal location, and the rest will take care of itself.

Is Buying a Condo a Good Investment as a First House?

It depends. Let’s say you’re buying your first house, and it’s a condo. Condos are quite different from other real estate since you will be sharing a smaller space with more people. So, before moving into one, be sure to examine what sets them apart.

Condo's value to increase

Most condos are governed by a homeowners association (HOA). The HOA sets rules and fees in place to maintain the value of the condo complex. It also helps to keep the property in pristine condition. Each resident pays a fee (the payment frequency can vary by complex), and the funds are used for general property upkeep.

Pros of Investing in a Condo

In a booming real estate market, buying a condo can be a wise investment. Condos are cheaper than single-family homes, and maintenance and repairs are taken care of for you.

Pros of Condo Investing

Purchasing a Condo has Several Advantages:

  • It’s Less Expensive than owning a Single Family Residence

One of the primary advantages of owning a condo is cost. As previously mentioned, condos tend to be less expensive than most single-family homes.

Because of low inventory and rising home prices, more investors may consider condos as a more lucrative and cost-effective alternative than single family homes.

  • Amenities

Condos are an excellent option for people who want to live in a community setting but still have privacy. Grilling areas, gyms, swimming pools, and other communal amenities are standard in condo complexes. Renting a condo or hosting guests at an Airbnb may be easier if these amenities are made available to potential renters.

  • Third Party Maintenance and Repair are Not Required

Condo fees are low because you don’t have to worry about paying for unit repairs and maintenance. When you own a single family home, you’re responsible for paying for everything from the roof to the patio to the gutters to the paint. On the other hand, condos have a homeowners association that handles all of the exterior maintenance, such as snow removal, yard work, and so on. For a new investor, this can make things a lot simpler.

  • Value Increases while Cash Flow is Generated

Whether you rent it out or use it as an Airbnb, a condo can generate income. The condo increases in value over time, increasing your equity while you receive this cash flow.

Cons of Investing in a Condo

While condos are more convenient and less expensive than single-family homes, owning one has some drawbacks. Among the most popular disadvantages are HOA fees and rental restrictions.

Cons of Condo investing

Additional Disadvantages Include:

  • Organization Fees

Homeowner association fees can range from a few hundred dollars a month to over a thousand dollars, depending on where you live. Large condo fees also increase your monthly payment, reducing your overall return on investment (ROI).

  • Rental Limitations

Almost all condos allow you to rent out units, but you may be limited to renting to long-term tenants.  In some complexes, short-term rentals like Airbnb are prohibited, so think twice before you do it.

  • Affiliation Restrictions

There may be other restrictions in a condo community besides rental restrictions. Your homeowners’ association may restrict the types of cosmetic changes you can make to the external building or the number of pets you can keep in your unit. These limitations may be a deal-breaker for some investors.

  • Financing Difficulty

Securing financing for a condo may also be more difficult. The interest rates on condo mortgages are typically higher than those on single family homes. The lender may impose additional conditions before granting you pre-approval on a loan; for instance, you may be required to have a certain level of occupancy before a loan is approved.

Is It a Good Idea to Buy a Vacation Condo?

If you’re leaning towards buying a vacation condo, consider getting one near your favorite vacation destination. It could double as your exclusive beach retreat, or you can rent it out to others.

Condos near beaches, lakes, or tourist attractions like the Grand Canyon or Disney World will have year-round renters. Because you won’t be living on the property, you’ll want to hire a management company to handle general property maintenance and administrative oversight.

Conclusion

Before investing in a condo, carefully consider your situation and financial goals as well as the pros and cons of owning this type of property. If you want to begin investing in condos, choose a location that is likely to provide a reasonable appreciation rate.

Think about how much time you want to devote to maintenance and repairs. It’s possible to invest wisely in condos as long as you can afford the fees and stay within the rental constraints.