Condo, anyone?

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 “… and this one is just right!” Goldilocks and the Three Bears

A friend of ours stopped by the other day and mentioned that he and his spouse had their house on the market. They were shopping around the area for condos. “You wouldn’t believe,” he said to me, “how many shapes and sizes condos come in!” Actually, of course, we would believe; today, more than ever, there is a condominium to fit just about any age and any stage of life.

Condos continue to grow in popularity and value in the Texas housing market. To quote Texas REALTORS® Texas Condominium Sales Report, 2020 Edition: “As the Texas population continues to boom and affordability challenges increase, condominiums and townhomes provide prime options for homeowners seeking closer locales to popular attractions and essential services at all price points.”

We already knew that. Phyllis Browning Company has been studying condo locations, amenities and buyers almost since condos came on the scene. “Talk about lifestyle options!” exclaims Natalee Newell, a PBC REALTOR® who works with some of the higher end complexes in midtown San Antonio. “Valet parking, concierge service, swimming pools, gyms, sports courts, dog parks – plus gorgeous public spaces for informal and formal meetings, guest suites, dining venues … “And the owner doesn’t lift a finger for the amenities!”

This is the great attraction to many homeowners: all of the comforts of that standalone house without the chores, upkeep, tools and contracted services. Even the humblest of condo complexes takes over these responsibilities and frees homeowners to spend their time more enjoyably. However, “not lifting a finger” means different things to different people. Because the more amenities provided, the greater the monthly Home Owner Association (HOA) fees.

Condo ownership has the financial advantages of home ownership: real property ownership purchasable by cash or mortgage, growing equity, a transferrable, salable and/or rentable asset. It also requires mortgage insurance, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes and utilities. These all accrue to the owner.

In most cases, the HOA manages the exterior and amenity insurance, maintenance, upkeep and replacement from fees paid by owners. One owner of a 3,000± sq. ft. 5th –floor condo on the San Antonio River swears by the money he has saved since making the move; he’s no longer paying individually for pool service on a pool only used by him and his wife, gym membership, housekeeping, a lawn service, tree trimmers, housepainters and so on. Instead, he’s getting all that and more for a fraction (a substantial fraction) of his previous expenses. Plus, his two balconies overlook the River and downtown, with the Tower of the Americas in the background. He’s minutes away from dining, shopping, theatres, night life and city events.

He and his wife also have neighbors – much closer neighbors than they had before. Above, below and beside them. For many of us, the last time we shared a wall with others we were in our twenties. Remember the couple across the hall who are still friends today? The ones who talked you into salsa dancing lessons? The shared moments and celebrations? You would never have met them except for the proximity.

Condos today strive to bring like-minded people together and give them opportunities to enjoy all their communities have to offer. For many busy owners, this is an opening to closeness, relationships, a cup of sugar remembered from days gone by … not generally available in today’s atmospherically sealed standalone subdivisions.

Condos offer many conveniences; as you can see, they may be glamorous high rises with glorious views or secluded one-or-two stories tucked amid landscaped grounds and pathways. Located close to the neighborhoods’ most attractive shopping, dining and entertainment options, the complexes do the work for owners in more ways than just the amenities. So get your own condo going, as the saying goes. Our friends are in a lovely condo that suits them perfectly, near the Medical Center. Where is your condo? Call us and we’ll help you find it.