Condominium ownership versus Rental

Considerations on living options in the light of high real estate ownership. When faced with fixed income and no cash flow to speak of, nor any amassed riches. There are options to ownership: From my own experience, condominium ownership is the worst of those. Not only is an owner (in such a commercial entity) responsible for maintaining their own unit (inside walls, flooring, ceiling, doors, windows, appliances, fixed furniture, plumbing and electrical repairs), but as owner is also responsible for paying large amounts to maintain a more or less big building in which an owners’ unit is housed. The larger the building, the more expensive the repairs to the building (that is the common or shared portions of any unit holder, such as hallways, walls, outside walls, grounds, underground services and all electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems).

Throw in for measure an outside contracted property management company (who may, or may not be corrupt). And some sort of ‘consortium’ that actually runs that building. As an owner in such a condo corporation, there is no control of what is being done with a unit holders’ money. And that money must be paid as a monthly fee. Comes a big repair, an extra levy is raised.

RENTING comes to mind: The money spent on that monthly fee and on extra levied fees can be saved towards monthly rental cost. So can property taxes. On an average I would say depending on the age of building and location a monthly condo fee can amount to a minimum of $400. Rental costs in even expensive areas can vary from monthly $1,000 to over $2,000. Lets say, I can afford $1,200 a month. Deduct $500 (condo ownership and property tax), leaves me with $700. In my case I have spent $35,000 in five years for repairs to my condo and improvements. In the best case, I add an extra cost of monthly $200 for regular maintenance of my condo, that would leave me with a balance for monthly rent of only $500. Home insurance is the same for both options.

But no more nightmare, no worries, no hard construction work. Answer is clear: RENT ! Go travel, and use your money.

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