East Austin Condos, Simply, A Lifestyle Choice
When a buyer asks me, “Should I buy a condo?” Or, “Why should I buy a condo?” I ask them, “What is your lifestyle?” In East Austin, condos are the urban choice, the downtown lifestyle. They have convenience, location, and amenities, all at an affordable price, and with very little maintenance. Sure, but a house in East Austin still has location and convenience, and usually a great price. It’s the maintenance, I mean hammer and nail maintenance that you get with an affordable house in East Austin. Also, amenities are usually not provided in the purchase of a house. That’s the difference.
Condominiums allow you to buy into a lifestyle, especially in the 78702 zip code of Austin. Walk downstairs to a coffee shop, use the fitness area, community activities, or just take in a sunset view of the Austin skyline from your patio. I don’t like to speak in terms of “pros” and “cons.” I think it’s much better to talk about what you are getting when you purchase a house versus a condo. Home is to flexibility as condominium is to convenience.
- Condo’s have less exterior maintenance while Houses have more exterior choice
Condominium ownership includes the interior only, typically (“inside the paint”), and some common ownership of the exterior, shared areas. Ownership dues take care of all maintenance, landscaping and in most cases the actual structure. With a home purchase comes the responsibility and opportunity for home projects.
- Condo’s have more amenities while Houses have fewer restrictions
Most condo’s have many included extras, a pool, upgraded kitchens, a gym, elevator access, wifi, community activities and gatherings, and even discounts at local vendors. There are the “rules”, however. Don’t forget, rules can help maintain the community, and help preserve certain factors that protect your investment in the property. With your home purchase, you have the freedom to build a new deck or completely remodel the kitchen. With a condo purchase, you may not have to change anything.
- Condo’s have closer community while Houses have more privacy
This is especially true with apartment-style condos. Do not under estimate the security that comes from having closer neighbors, a gated entryway, or a community that is acquainted with one another. You could have a neighbor just a wall away. Walls can still make good neighbors as much as any “fence”. This is true for many condos in East Austin, as they are typically “apartment” style. However, a town home condominium can be almost indistinguishable from a stand-alone house. More community or more privacy is not always a distinguishing factor between houses and condos, so examine this point on a case-by-case basis. When you consider affordability and investment value, condos may not differ so much from your typical house purchase. Many condos carry a lower price tag than a house of a similar size, but then you should include your Home ownership association fees. At the same time, condominiums can have lower utility bills, almost nonexistent landscaping costs, and very little risk in the way of major, unexpected repairs. In terms of investment value, the condo market does react sharply to market fluctuations, but finding comparable properties is as easy as looking down the hall. It is also worth mentioning that condominiums are more amenable to leasing. Just like any other piece of real estate, the comparable properties in the area have a lot to say about your price. Why buy a condo? Well, in East Austin, you are buying a way of life. Get up in the morning, say hello to your neighbor as you go downstairs to the local coffee shop. Take the train to work, and then head back to a happy hour just a block from where you live. And like I said before, take a look at the sunset and the Austin skyline from your patio!