Which is better – buying a condo in Cincinnati or buying a single-family home? For homeowners, you may have more specific preferences to help answer this question, but it gets a little more complicated and is a tougher question to answer for investors. The answer, of course, depends on your preferences and your needs and your business model. Both condos and single-family homes have their pros and cons. Either way, you go, you never want to rush into a real estate purchase without carefully thinking through it, so you need to take the time to carefully consider all aspects before buying a condo in Cincinnati.
Pros of Buying a Condo in Cincinnati
1. LOWER PRICE
Generally, condos sell at a lower price than single-family residences. And this makes a condo a good starting point for both homeowners and investors. In the Cincinnati and Northern KY areas, you can typically find condos ranging from around $100,000 to $150,000 in areas close to downtown such as Mt. Adams, Bellevue KY and Newport KY.
Buying a condo in Cincinnati can be a good move because of all the amenities available, which can make it very attractive to potential tenants. Amenities can include tennis courts, swimming pools, walking trails and more.
Often, condo communities offer gated and locked entries, as well as doormen and professional security. Another security plus is the close proximity of other residents in case some emergency arises.
4. EASY MAINTENANCE
One of the biggest draws of a condo is the easy maintenance, usually taken care of by people hired to see to those tasks. Not having to mow the grass or repair the roof or fix the furnace can be very attractive for buying a condo in Cincinnati.
I know when I talk to my father-in-law, this is a the largest attractor to a condo for him. After 30+ years of mowing your lawn in the Ohio River Valley humidity, the idea of someone else cutting the grass for you is quite alluring.
Cons of Buying a Condo in Cincinnati
1. LITTLE PRIVACY
Buying a condo in Cincinnati means little privacy for residents because it’s basically an apartment you own. So the only thing separating you from your neighbors is a wall, which isn’t very conducive to privacy and quiet.
2. HOA FEES
All those amenities and the maintenance that is taken care of for you, have to be paid for somehow, and that usually happens by way of homeowners ‘association (HOA) fees. Buying a condo in Cincinnati means that you are, essentially, becoming a business partner in the community. And that comes with financial obligations.
In addition, condos have taken a pretty hard hit as a result of the recession. And this means that people are struggling financially and often become delinquent on those HOA fees. But the expenses don’t just go away. So fees increase, and the people who do pay (you) have to pay more. So, be sure to research the community and vacancy rates before pulling the trigger.
3. RESTRICTIVE RULES
Condo residents are bound by many rules and restrictions that govern what- is and isn’t allowed. If, for example, you want to install a solar panel on your roof to conserve energy, you would first have to get permission from the condo association. And there is no shortage of rules and regulations like this, including ones that tell you whether you can or can’t barbecue outside.
4. DIFFICULT TO SELL
This one is a particular concern for investors interested in buying a condo in Cincinnati. Condos are harder to sell than single-family housing, especially if there are many empty units in the building. So, be sure liquidity is not top of your needs when it comes to owning a condo as an investment property.
5. SLOW APPRECIATION
The appreciation rate for condos is usually much lower than that for single-family homes, generally a big concern for investors. Owning a condo means that you don’t own any land, which is the biggest factor in driving appreciation.
Buying a condo in Cincinnati, as with any major purchase, demands careful consideration of both pros and cons. Carefully assessing your needs and desires and then weighing the pros and cons will help you make the right decision. Of course, the expert advice of a top-notch real estate professional can be a big help as well.