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Why Cheaper Isn’t Always Better When It Comes To Buying a Condo

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Buying a condominium or townhouse is all the rage these days; after the housing market collapse during 2007-2008, many homeowners found that they couldn’t afford to invest in another full-sized home (or simply didn’t want to invest in another one). But it’s important to realize that buying a condo is still a big decision, and there are plenty of details to consider before making a purchase.

One condominium in Florida, according to a recent Washington Post article by Harvey S. Jacobs, is attempting to make consumers feel a little more comfortable before buying a condo: they’re offering deals and prices on individual units that just seem too good to be true. And as Jacobs points out, these deals are too good to be true.

If you’re looking to invest in a condo in South Florida, many real estate firms specializing in sales of condos and townhouses have begun offering to sell individuals condos for as low as $1. With some basic updates and redecorating, owners can purchase one unit, complete with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and plenty of country club features on the property, for just a few dollars.

The catch, Jacobs explains, is that you’re required to pay for all of these extra features after buying a condominium on the property. And the fees for these country club dinners, golf courses, and stocked bars aren’t as cheap as the condos, either. Owners usually end up paying anywhere between $20,000 and $30,000 per year, along with membership application fees and equity buy-in fees for the country club (which are sometimes semi-refundable if you sell the condo).

In other words, the people interested in buying condos from these realtors aren’t really getting the full picture of what the purchase will entail. The lesson here is that there’s more to consider than location and initial cost when you’re buying a condominium. Many people prefer condos because there are fewer maintenance and grounds upkeep tasks than with a home, but these units are similar to homes in that the buyers actually own their respective units — the units aren’t temporarily rented out.

If you’re considering condo ownership, you’ve probably already seen how affordable, aesthetically pleasing, and convenient these properties are. But no matter what you do, never be scared to ask questions and understand what you’re really buying into before you sign any contracts. Read this for more.

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