Items to consider before buying a Boston condo for sale. The Boston real estate market can be tough, making Boston condos for sale an attractive option for many people, especially young families and pre-retirees looking to downsize. Condo living might be described as a happy medium between the autonomy of living in a traditional single family home and the convenience of renting a Beacon Hill apartment. When you buy a condo, you own the interior, meaning that, unlike with an apartment, you can make whatever changes or updates you want to the space. However, it also means that, unlike with an apartment, you are responsible for all of the maintenance and upkeep of the interior—there’s no handy maintenance number to call when something goes wrong. The upside is that, since you don’t own the exterior of your condo, outside maintenance isn’t your problem!
Like anything, there are pros and cons to buying Boston condo for sale, and many factors you should consider before making a final decision on whether condo living is right for you. We’ve laid it all out below.
The first question anyone looking for an alternative to a traditional home needs to answer is whether they’ll opt for a condo or rent an apartment..
What do condos consist of:
- Condos are apartment-like. They’re found in Midtown high rise buildings and traditional style Beacon Hill buildings.
- You own only the interior of your home. You’re therefore responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the inside of the condo.
- There will be many common areas shared among residents. These can include things like fitness centers, pools, playgrounds, and clubhouses.
- Are governed by a Home Owners Association (HOA) aka condo association. The condo association is responsible for maintaining the common areas and exterior of all condos, as well as dealing with clean up and repairs following unexpected emergencies like storms or flooding. The condo association is generally made up of elected condo owners.
- You will pay monthly fee to the condo association to provide for the exterior maintenance of the condo complex, and to build up a fund for dealing with unexpected emergencies.
Boiling it all down, Beacon Hill and Back Bay condos may be best suited to people who don’t mind having to occasionally put up with overhearing someone else’s music or movie. People who enjoy frequent run-ins with neighbors and for whom amenities like pools, parks, or clubhouses will add to their quality of life. Condos may also be a better choice for people who don’t want to deal with outside maintenance issues like lawn care, roofing, shoveling snow etc.
If you’ve decided that Boston condo living is an option for you, over renting Beacon Hill apartments for rent, you now need to determine whether you’re suited to living under an condo association, Condo Associations exist to make sure that the condo community as a whole remains a well-maintained and pleasant place to live. To that end, condo associations will generally create a set of by-laws that govern the use of common areas. These might include regulations on who can use these amenities, when they can be used, and how they can be used. As well as issues like where residents can park, what types of vehicles are allowed within the condominium complex (for example, no RVs or boats), how long holiday decorations can be left up etc. Residents who fail to follow the rules will be fined by the condo association. The condo association also often has the authority to foreclose on residents who habitually fail to pay their dues or rack up an excessive number of fines.
Whether or not you are comfortable living under an condo assoc will depend on your temperament and willingness to compromise. Whatever the case, always make sure to request a copy of the by-laws for the condo complex you’re interested in moving into. Just because you’re willing to live under an condo association doesn’t mean you’ll be willing to live under a specific association. You need to make sure that their specific rules won’t require you to alter your lifestyle in ways that will significantly undermine your happiness.
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