Maryland is culturally rich and has a lot to offer to its residents. From watersports to crab feasts, this coastal mid-Atlantic state has it all. Its diverse yet appealing culture makes Maryland an ideal spot, not just for tourism but also for permanent residency.
The real estate market in Maryland at the moment is wild. The average home value here is above $400,000, with a 30-year mortgage rate of only 5.52%. However, you have to be quick if you plan on buying property in this part of America. Properties here stay on the market for less than 40 days before someone eventually buys them. There is also a 0.86% home value increase month over month.
Southern Maryland, however, has a more stable real estate market. Though a property on average lasts for only 17 days on the market, the median house price of $400,000 makes the market appeal to potential real estate buyers. So, Southern Maryland is where you want to be if you are looking to buy property in Maryland, especially a condo.
Owning a condo has a few downsides to it. Firstly, when you buy a condo, you are not getting ownership of the land. You can only call a limited space of the building yours. Secondly, living in a condo means you will have limited parking. Besides, you also have to share certain amenities like the gym or laundry room with other condo owners or tenants.
Lastly, you have to abide by the rules and regulations set by the homeowners association (HOA). You also need to pay a fee to cover certain maintenance and benefits costs.
However, there are lots of positives to owning a condo as well. For instance, condos are more affordable than single-family houses. You also get top-class amenities and often appliances included in the deal.
Being part of the HOA means your maintenance costs are almost always covered, though you do have to pay a fee to be a part of the HOA. Thanks to that, however, there is an excellent sense of community among residents.
Most importantly, you get to enjoy cheaper insurance for a condo compared to a house. Condo insurance covers any internal structural damage to the condo and your personal belongings.
Condo owners are bound to avail such insurance coverage according to the rules of their building associations. Besides, the bank mortgaging your home loan also requires you to use this homeowners insurance to cover your condo and personal property.
To help you get started in your search for finding the best condo in Southern Maryland, here are a few tips.
The right location will be the one that is in a good neighborhood and has all the facilities you need at a stone’s throw from your condo. These facilities include pre-schools, high schools, hospital and emergency centers, police stations, fire stations, etc. Ideally, these places should have a low crime rate.
Your condo should also have parks, lakes and other recreational spaces nearby. A breath of fresh air will always be helpful when you are living in a condo.
The most important amenity you can ask for from your condo is a 24/7 security service. It is something you cannot do without. The building should have CCTV cameras installed wherever necessary, especially in the corridors with a clear view of who is going in and out of the condos. Apart from the condos, the staircases and the building entrances should have CCTV cameras too.
The condo should also have an open roof, ideally with a rooftop deck. That will be especially crucial when the location lacks open spaces. Besides, an indoor gym, meeting or hall room and laundry facilities should also be present if possible.
One thing to remember is that the more amenities you get, the more the condo will cost. So, you have to set a realistic budget for your condo.
A realistic budget is not one that is cheap. It is a reasonable budget, meaning you are getting the service and quality you paid for.
For instance, a condo without an indoor gym or swimming pool may cost you $380,000. However, one that does have those facilities can cost $400,000. Both of these price tags are reasonable because of the amenities you can or cannot get.
Amenities a condo provides are usually not optional. There are a few exceptions, though, like your allocated parking space. You may choose to give it up to save some money. However, a common gym or swimming pool is open to everyone in the building. So, you cannot say that you will not use those facilities and plan to get a discount.
Finding the perfect condo by yourself is a mammoth task. It is not only difficult but often impossible, especially if you are not familiar with the area. Besides, the condo or building owner might try to ask for an unreasonable amount of money from you for the condo.
In such cases, it is always wiser to consult a realtor. They can help you find the ideal condo and get the best deal possible. You just have to make sure your realtor is well-oriented with the area you plan on buying your condo in. Otherwise, consulting them will not be of much use.
Every condo will have a homeowners association (HOA). As the owner of a condo (or even a tenant), you have to be a part of the HOA. Review their annual fees and the regulations they impose on you. It will be a bad deal if they charge you too much for very little service or impose unnecessary regulations that restrict your freedom.
Buying a condo comes with making several hard choices, especially when you are buying one in an area like Southern Maryland. However, stick to these tips, and you will not be disappointed with the result.