Chicago Condo Tips And Advice
Chicago condos, lofts and townhouses (what we in the business refer to as "attached homes") are popular alternatives to detached single-family homes, especially in the city where space is limited and costly. Owning a multi-unit property is a bit different than having a private home, though. This quick reference list will give you a good idea what it involves, including both benefits and pitfalls.
- Condo Fact #1: Much of the time condo buildings have community amenities that are open to resident use, such as fitness facilities, sauna and spa areas, outdoor patios, swimming pools, business centers, club houses and media rooms.
- Condo Fact #2: It's not uncommon for condominiums to provide on-site services and assistance, including dry cleaners, house keeping, valet, door staff and concierge desk. Pampered like a hotel guest in your own home (although, a fee may apply).
- Condo Fact #3: Condos often provide added security through gated courtyards, automatic garage doors, secured access entrance and elevators, key pad technology, video surveillance, 24-hour security guards, and intercom systems for buzzing in guests.
- Condo Fact #4: Condos have less room to store things than houses with basements, attics and garages, so the buildings generally have storage spaces or private lockers for residents to put the overflow of belongings.
- Condo Fact #5: Many condominiums offer residents some sort of outdoor area with a garden, sundeck, grilling station or patio seating. And, you won’t have to worry about cutting the grass or trimming the hedges, the condo hires someone to take care of it.
- Condo Fact #6: The condo’s maintenance staff is on hand to do repairs and general upkeep of the building’s common areas. Depending on the circumstances, unit problems may be up to the condo personnel to fix or it may be your responsibility.
- Condo Fact #7: Assessments or association fees are paid by the condo-owner (typically monthly) to the condo board and used for general maintenance and upkeep of the community amenities. Assessments vary greatly from one condo to the next—the amount is set by the condo board.
- Condo Fact #8: Special assessments are additional charges, on top of the regular association fees, that may be required for major building repairs or other unforeseen expenses.
- Condo Fact #9: The condo board is selected by the condo owners to represent the building interests, manage the association funds, and create/uphold the condo rules.
- Condo Fact #10: Condo associations have a set of regulations and restrictions residents are expected to abide by. The rules can include anything from pet policies to whether owners are allowed to rent out their unit. Condo owners have a say in what the condo association guidelines are, but it is a good idea to read over them before signing a contract.
- Condo Fact #11: In a condo building your neighbors really are “next door” and depending on the structure’s sound-proofing ability, the noise level may be something to consider. Not all condominiums are built the same so take a listen before making an offer.
- Condo Fact #12: Many condominiums have on-site parking garages, but more often than not, there is an additional cost on top of the condo purchase price to get one of the deeded spaces (typically between $30,000 and $60,000).
- Condo Fact #13: When condo owners are ready to sell their unit, the asking price will be somewhat dependent on how much other units are listed for and what other units have sold for in their building. That’s because one unit is typically very much like the next, unless upgrades or renovations have been made.