Buying a Condo in Philadelphia

For many, buying a condo in Philadelphia may be a more beneficial alternative to buying a single family home. You'll be able to relax instead of cutting the grass. You can enjoy the convenience of having access to a gym, pool, and/or tennis court just minutes away from your doorstep. However, if you are planning to buy your first condo, you may want to learn about what owning a condo may entail. For instance, one major part of owning a condo is the Homeowners Association Fees. 

What Is a Homeowners Association?

When you buy Philadelphia condos within a HOA, you are buying within a community that has agreed on specific requirements. Money is paid into the organization which then uses it for the betterment of the group and the area. This is a non-profit organization and members make decisions together, usually by a majority vote or through an elected council.

What Is Included in the HOA's Bylaws?

When buying a condo in Philadelphia, you'll need to put some time into learning what the HOA rules are. You agree to follow these rules in order to live in the community. Most are simple and beneficial to the community as a whole. Do you want to erect a flag in the front yard? You'll need to make sure everyone agrees. Some rules will limit the number of people that can live in the home or the colors you can paint the house. Additionally, joint community, which is property that is shared by the community, falls under these rules, too. This may include who can use them, how they can be used and what types can be put into place.

What's It Cost?

HOA fees range significantly from one area to the next. When buying Philadelphia condos, you should ask about these fees. You may find some areas are far less expensive because the amenities are fewer or the rules are shorter. These fees are paid by property owners in the community each month. This is on top of a mortgage payment, taxes and all of your utility costs. Think of it as a fee charged so you can live there and use the shared community property.

Is This the Right Decision for You?

Philadelphia condos with an HOA are common. However, before you decide to invest in one, it's a good idea to speak to your attorney about your options and limitations. You should ensure that the bylaws are in accordance with state laws. You'll also want to learn the details of what you can do and what you cannot do.
 
Before you invest, talk to your real estate agent as well. You need to know what the costs are long before you tour the home or put an offer on it. Additionally, you need to be sure that this if factored into your budget.
 
Buying a condo in Philadelphia may mean paying HOA fees. Yet, the benefits of living in Philadelphia condos may make it worthwhile to do so. It's up to you to determine what the right decision is for you, but your agent and attorney can offer a hand.
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