Condo pros & cons: What to know before you take the plunge - Movement Mortgage Blog

The Condo lifestyle can be an excellent alternative to owning a house — especially if you’re the type of personality who doesn’t want to deal with the yard work and extensive home maintenance that can come with owning a whole house. 

Maybe you’re just starting your home ownership journey and ready to move on from landlords and leases. Or perhaps you’ve already been a homeowner and are now ready to downsize and eliminate some of the issues that come with owning a home.

If either of those two scenarios sounds familiar, condominiums are worth considering. Whether in a mega urban setting, a revitalized downtown in the suburbs or one of many modern complexes sprouting up in more remote rural outposts, you’ll want to read on to see if a condo is right for you.

Let’s look at some pros & cons of condo living.

Who takes care of maintenance and repair when things fall apart?

  • Pro: Even though you own the property, you still get the benefit of being able to call for help when stuff needs fixing (in some cases). Condo maintenance fees should cover exterior painting, roofing, snow removal, landscaping, external plumbing, heating and wiring.  
  • Con: HOA fees aren’t cheap, with an average assessment for a single-family home in the USA of $250 every month. Also, when something needs repair, it’s never a quick fix. There’s probably a waiting list of projects that need attention. 


A condo association makes the rules, so everybody gets along.

  • Pro: Condo association rules often discourage things like garish exterior painting, loud parties and offensive smells. Plus, they keep common areas clean, landscaping well-kept and amenities maintenance-free. 
  • Con: You’ll meet resistance  if you’re not a rule follower. And you’ll dislike it more when you have to pay for it month after month. So if you need complete control of your space, condo living may not be for you. 


You’ll need to have your social game on from day one!

  • Pro: Condo complexes are like mini-neighborhoods and can be a great place to make friends. There are clubs, organizations and running groups. And with common pools, fitness centers, dog runs and playgrounds, you’re bound to meet like-minded people. The day you move in, you’re part of a community.
  • Con: Let’s repeat that: the day you move in, you’re part of a community. And with that community, you’ll share walls, elevators, parking and everything else. Your neighbors may even have a say in how long guests can stay in your place and whether or not you can decorate your entry door or patio during the holidays. 


Living in a multi-unit dwelling can impact your health.

  • Pro: You may feel invincible as a young family, but take it from the older couple living down the hall: elevators are a blessing. In fact, high-rise condo life is like living in a single-floor home, only its way up in the sky. The views are better, and your knees will thank you since you’re not climbing stairs. Besides, you can always work out in the fitness room your condo fees pay for.
  • Con: In a single-family home, you’d probably park your car in the garage and take the groceries directly into your kitchen. In a condo, you’re hauling groceries and sleepy babies from the garage or the parking lot and then waiting for the elevator. By the time you get to your unit, your ice cream has melted and your kid’s wide awake. 


There’s nowhere to store a snow shovel, rake or lawnmower. But you likely won’t need them. 

  • Pro: In a condo, you won’t get home from a long day at the office and need to fit in some yardwork before dinner. There are no weekends ruined by raking leaves and mowing lawns. In a condo, landscaping — if any — is not your problem. Any property your complex sits on will be professionally cared for and maintenance-free (paid for by the HOA fees, of course.)
  • Con: If you’ve got a green thumb that you’re itching to use, you won’t find much solace in a condo — unless you want to set up an indoor garden with house plants. Some condo complexes may even limit whether or not you can have plants on terraces if the watering of those plants could disrupt residents on lower floors. 


Interested in the condo lifestyle?

Movement Mortgage loan officers can chat with you to discuss first-time homebuyer programs with exceptional rates and low-to-no down payment for qualified borrowers. 

We even have specialized condo loans available. Contact a local loan officer to see what it’ll take to get you into the condo of your dreams.

About the Author:

Mitch Mitchell

Mitch Mitchell is a freelance contributor to Movement's marketing department. He also writes about tech, online security, the digital education community, travel, and living with dogs. He’d like to live somewhere warm.