Many Houstonians rent purely because they enjoy the easy lifestyle and accessibility of apartment living, but increasingly renters are realizing the benefits of owning vs. renting. Condominiums are a great upgrade option being explored by many seeking the same hassle-free way of living.
With all the benefits of an apartment, including great locations, no yard maintenance, and a lock-and-leave lifestyle, condo-dwellers can experience all that Houston has to offer, from the restaurants and nightlife, to the cultural happenings and special events, all right there in their neighborhoods.
Plus, it's more affordable.
As you may know, mortgage interest rates are resembling an all-time low while rents are continuing to rise, therefore now is a good time to invest. By keeping in mind the virtual buffet of options for purchase out there, and carefully weighing the pros and cons, you can make a great decision that will keep you happy for years to come.
Condo vs. Townhome
If you are ready to make the jump, then you are probably considering at least two options: condo or townhome. Both allow you to live in your preferred location for a fraction of the cost of traditional family homes on standard lots in the same area.
Here is what you need to understand to intelligently calculate your decision:
- Lock-and-leave lifestyle with low maintenance
- Keyless entry
- Limited access entry equipped with security camera monitoring
- No yard upkeep
- Security cameras covering all interior and exterior areas
- Parking garage underneath building by secure gate access only
- Smaller square footage, but smaller price tag
- General affordability over the short and long-term
- Ability to choose finishes
- All appliances included
- Commercial-grade concrete construction and fireproof doors
- Post tension flooring for noise reduction
- HOA fees range depending upon the amenities offered
- Interior entry from elevator to single floor units so stairs are optional
Better views of surrounding areas
- Closer to a traditional family home
- Attached garage
- Little to no yard
- Security risk with external doors and lower windows
- Entry through garage and/or front door
- Larger square footage, but higher price tag
- Wood construction
- HOA fees for property maintenance
- Separated by 3-4 flights of stairs
Not as likely to have a view
As you can see, there are pros and cons to each, but the clear choice is a condo for those with an active lifestyle who want to appreciate life in a home that is designed to be safe and sound in a stunningly well-built environment with very little maintenance.
HOA Fees and Security
It is characteristically implied that high HOA fees accompany luxurious condo living. However, this is not the case in at least a few condominium options around town. Oaks on Caroline and Museum Flats, two new communities in the lush Museum District, will offer a high level of security and construction without the high HOA fees usually associated with other condo buildings.
How, you might ask?
Typically, those high dues cover all of the different facilities and services available at a condominium community. The problem is, buyers are limited to the options available in their building, and if those don’t work for their situation, they still have to pay for them on top of the amenities more suitable to their needs elsewhere.
Statistics have shown that the majority of residents do not take advantage of those expensive amenities they pay for so dearly each month. Why pay thousands of dollars a year for something you don’t use, when you can have a choice?
The developer of Oaks on Caroline and Museum Flats, Urban Flats Builder, has put the need for high HOA fees on notice. As a company, they have set out to undermine that perception entirely by simply giving residents a stellar home with superior finishes and materials in excellent locations, while leaving thousands of dollars left in buyers’ pockets, in some cases, to make their own decisions about what and where to enjoy the luxuries of life as they see fit.
Condominium payments are most often significantly lower than apartment rent, so locking down set monthly mortgage payment eliminates the anxiety of almost certain rent increases. At communities like the Oaks on Caroline and Museum Flats, you can assume big savings with an average of $400 in ownership equity per month as rivaled to renting. Given that comparative analysis, it is cheaper to own a condo in the long run than it is to continue renting month-to-month.
Furthermore on the topic of HOA fees, Urban Flats Builder is reducing those to a marginal 19-21 cents per square foot compared to the competitors at above 50 cents per square foot. In essence, for a standard 1000-square-foot condominium in Houston, you might pay a whopping $500 in just HOA fees per month and that doesn’t even include your mortgage or bills.
For the same-sized condo at these Urban Flats Builder communities, they’re projected to be about 50 percent of that cost. A significant savings to say the least, and the freedom to choose what you want to do with that extra money.
A Better Lifestyle
The culture shock of moving from an apartment to a condo is quite minimal, with residents of condos typically forming a tight bond with their neighbors. In contrast to renting, however, owners have a long-term vested interest in establishing relationships with neighbors who watch out for each other and ensure the property maintains its value.
And the ability to "lock-and-leave" at any time, knowing that a condo will be there just as you left it when you return, is a big plus for condo ownership.
Many condos are located in desirable in-town neighborhoods, within easy walking or light-rail distance from restaurants and shops. So instead of spending weekends tending to a yard, residents have time for recreation and relaxation. Oaks on Caroline and Museum Flats are both situated in the lively Museum District of Houston, just moments from scenic running and biking trails, renowned museums, dining and nightlife hotspots.
Great Condo Options that Fit the Bill: Oaks on Caroline and Museum Flats
When you’re weighing your townhome and condo options, this is all important information to keep in mind. For our money, we believe just a few condos in town have all the right ingredients for an exceptional lifestyle without breaking the bank.
Oaks on Caroline and Museum Flats check off almost every item on our wish list, including excellent construction quality, energy-saving features such as double-paned windows with Low-E glass, and superior insulation for both sound and energy efficiency.
The condos also feature stainless-steel kitchen appliances, washer/dryer, wine cooler, natural stone countertops, designer hardware, beautiful bath fixtures and private balconies with picturesque views of the area. With prices ranging from the $300s to the $600s, and low HOA fees, they are a great choice for upgraded living in the Museum District.
Urban Flats Builder creates quality condominium developments in hot urban locations for buyers who place an emphasis on value and luxury. For details and more information, visit www.urbanflatsbuilder.com.