Condominiums, better known as “condos” are considered a great option for senior living. Condos are privately owned units within a building. It is different from an apartment, which is also a unit within a building but often owned and managed by a company – not the individual.
There are quite a lot of reasons why seniors have made condominiums their domicile of choice. This is where we will lay out the pros and cons of condo living, as well as some desirable locations in South Carolina.
According to several studies, nine out of ten seniors over the age 65 wish to remain independent and live in their own home. Unfortunately, with standalone homes, the overall costs of maintaining their home becomes onerous and not affordable, especially if they are living on a tight, fixed budget. Consider that standalone homes require lawn maintenance, repair, plus utilities and the cost of living. Proximity to neighbors or a helping hand may be distant depending on where they live too.
Condos can offer a multitude of options, from size, community, social activities and amenities, and more. They come in all shapes and sizes from high rise buildings to town homes; semi-detached houses, and even detached homes within a gated community that you can easily find all with condos for sale in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Many of these communities require their residents to be 55+ because they specifically cater to the aging population.
How does ownership within a building work?
Condos give full ownership to the individual who is buying it, even whilst that unit is within a larger building. Anything within the individual unit is the sole responsibility of the owner but the exterior maintenance is often provided by the community or HOA such as snow removal, lawn services and other yard maintenance. Communities often have shared amenities like a golf course or club house, pools, gyms and sometimes shopping centers.
Other Benefits to Living in a Condo
Affordable Prices for Condos
Condos generally cost less than regular housing by approximately $10,000. This can be attributed to lower lot prices or mortgage payments, savings on lawn care equipment, and if the condo was a step to downsizing, less in utilities.
Available Social Support
How scary would it be to fall and get injured, lying scared waiting for someone to show up – if they do? In condo communities, neighbors are generally closer and communal in nature. Neighbors and social club friends will likely notice someone's absence and prompt a wellness-check.
Location and Lifestyle
Condos are generally located close to shopping, theater and other quality of life things like restaurants, stadiums, and hospitals.
Maintenance for Condos
This was previously mentioned but it's high on the priority list – maintenance is one of the key motivational factors for moving into a condo. As people age, they don't have the health, stamina or the wherewithal to keep up with lawn work. Let the young ones take care of that stuff.
Convenience with Accessibility
Many condos offer units that can accommodate wheelchair access, ramps, or even public transportation or community events and day trips.
Security for Communities
In many cases, condominiums are within communities that provide security. It may be in the form of guards, security cameras or emergency alert systems. Some have gated communities with someone at the entry to make sure visitors belong there.
What are some of the Cons of Living in a Condo?
Some of the biggest complaints about condo living stems from the rules and regulations so it is wise to do the research to see what those restrictions might be before purchasing a condo.
Restrictions or No-pet policy
Some condos have a no-pet policy while others have restrictions on the type of pets, how many, and even breeds that are or are not allowed. There are others that have lenient rules but it is important to ask first before buying. It would be terribly sad to choose between home and Fluffy.
Restrictions on Exterior
Many HOAs and condo communities have restrictions on how people may decorate their units on the outside. Flags, plants and even holiday lights may be restricted. Another thing to consider for the exterior may be a ban on barbecues or hanging clothes to dry outside. If decorating or using the outdoors of your unit is a big deal, read the fine print of the homeowner's agreement.
Restrictions on Guests Stays
Most condos have no problem with overnight guests but there may be restrictions on long stays, sub-leasing, unaccompanied visitors to the pool and other amenities, and using the unit for rental services like VRBO and Air BNBs might be a no go.
Restrictions on Noise
In many senior communities, there may be a byline concerning noise. It could be a curfew, of sorts, where noise or social activities that may disrupt the peace and quiet has a time stamp on it.
There May Be Some Mandatory Fees
With condo living and all of the amenities, there is a good possibility that what is saved on a mortgage is being used to pay for access to those amenities. Check to see if there is an opt out or if those association fees are mandatory.
Condo living is not ideal for everyone, but it's important to face the pros and cons of living this way.
Some of The Good Locations in South Carolina
Home of one of the country's tallest ferris wheels, Myrtle Beach is a destination for many vacationers and forever home for retirees. There are plenty of communities with condos for sale in the Myrtle Beach area that are close to golf courses, beachfront, boardwalks and entertainment.
There is a lot of history that dates back to the 1600s on Seabrook Island. In 2005, this island was incorporated and privatized, providing owners and guests such high-end amenities like a renovated equestrian center, golfing, and full-service clubhouse.
Beaufort is the second-oldest city in South Carolina. It is very close to Parris Island, the training home of many U.S. Marines. It is in close proximity to Hilton Head and renown for its historic character and scenic location. It has also been listed as a Top 25 Small City Arts Destination by American Style. Condos for sale in Beaufort are often quite affordable for military families and seniors.