Looking for a place to call your own but without some of the traditional hassles of home ownership - like yard work? Then you may want to consider purchasing a condominium.
Condos are popular for a number of reasons including size, location, amenities and, of course, limited lawn care and maintenance responsibilities.
Only you can decide - based on your lifestyle, your budget and your personal preferences - if condo living is right for you.
To help, we've devised this condo readiness quiz:
* Do you want or need to minimize the time you spend on yard work and household maintenance chores?
* Do you favor "extras" such as a swimming pool, fitness center, party house or storage facility?
* Do you need to reduce your monthly mortgage expenses?
* Are you comfortable paying a condo fee (averaging $100-$400 monthly) in exchange for upkeep of common areas, including snow plowing, leaf removal, parking lot maintenance and lawn mowing?
* Are you willing to submit to the rules and regulations for your community set forth by a condo board?
If you answered yes to one or more questions, condo living may be in your future, so consider these next steps:
1. Look at both single-family homes and condos before narrowing your selection.
2. Talk with current condo owners to get a feel for the pros and cons of condo living.
3. Ask for specifics about condo fees, rules and regulations. (Some condo boards assess additional charges for maintenance work outside of routine maintenance.)
Relax and enjoy looking at your options. There's no substitute for diligent research and self-reflection.