Condominiums, condos for short, can be a great way for first time home buyers to get started. They are generally less expensive than a similar sized house. One of my loved ones purchased a condo for their first home, sold it a couple of years later, and then purchased a traditional house. It worked well for them all along the way.
Condos can also be terrific for downsizing boomers and seniors who don't want to stay as busy keeping a big home clean and are also ready to give up yard maintenance.
Dictionary.com defines condominiums as, “An apartment house, office building, or other multiple-unit complex, the units of which are individually owned, each owner receiving a recordable deed to the individual unit purchased, including the right to sell, mortgage, etc., that unit and sharing in joint ownership of any common grounds, passageways, etc.”
As US News Money puts it, “For those who don't know, a condominium is like a hybrid between an apartment and a house. Like a house, you buy a condo and own it outright. But some elements of condo living are similar to apartment living. For starters, many condos are adjacent to others, so owners often share a wall and live in close proximity. And if you live in a high-rise building, your condo may be located above or below someone else’s.”
Condos in My Family
My personal preference on a condo is a two story with no one above or below
That's how my first friend's was set up and it was great. Then again, my parents lived in a condo in Hawaii. It looked like a high-rise apartment building with 20+ floors. They LOVED it. You did occasionally get the smell of someone else's cooking, but then again, we get BBQ smells making us hungry that sometimes drifts into our traditional single family home. Here's an example of one similar to theirs.
Don't you wish we had that ocean view in the Roseville Sacramento area? Though the river and creek views are definitely delightful!
From Cheap to Luxury Condos in Sacramento California
2015 – when I first wrote this post
I did a search for condos for sale in Midtown Sacramento. It's a lovely area with shopping and amenities near by, often within walking distance. At the time I wrote this, I was intrigued to spot a couple of high rises like my parents' Hawaii adventure home, along with a couple of developments that only had two or three stories. Most of the units available at the time of writing have 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms though a couple were even smaller with one bedroom and 1 bathroom condominium homes for sale. Prices at this particular moment in time range from $100,000 to just shy of $1 million dollars! There are three condominium houses for sale under $300,000, and four are over $700,000, and the rest are ranging from $300,000 – $700,000. Very interesting!
The search I did In December 2020 was different. But still quite interesting. I looked for all condos for sale in Sacramento and came up with 82, ranging in price from $115,000 to a whopping $1,999,999! Here are the ones from a million plus…
And here's the entire search of all condos for sale under the condo category, with the most recently listed condominiums first, so you can see what's available as you read this:
Condos for Sale in Sacramento
Condos in the Greater Sacramento Area
In 2020, I was also curious about the available Condos in the Greater Sacramento area like Fair Oaks, Carmichael, and Citrus Heights. I've gotten to know several recently while condo hunting with clients. Check these out: Quite a difference!
Condos Sacramento Area
Condominium Options in Roseville CA
Compare that to my own neighborhood town of Roseville CA. The asking prices for those 2 and 3 bedroom condo homes for sale at the time of this post (2015) are definitely more “first time home buyer” friendly, ranging from $110,000 to $430,000. Currently there are a handful available in the 95661 area, with most of the rest in the 95678 area. That area includes Highland Reserve where some of these are located, and there are definitely some beauties there.
Fast Forward to 2020
Prices are increasing here, as everywhere else. But they haven't hit the million dollar mark yet like some of the ones in Sacramento, so that is nice! What isn't as great is how few options are available. But that's true throughout our area for all kinds of real estate!
Roseville Condos for Sale
There are also some lovely condos in Rocklin and Lincoln, including at least two communities in Rocklin and one in Lincoln.
Condos for Sale in Rocklin CA
Condos for Sale Lincoln CA
When Searching for a Condo for Sale in Roseville or Sacramento or elsewhere in California
I was intrigued that, at first, I didn't spot any in the 95747 area as I know we have some condominium homes there, too, including the gorgeous Paseo Del Norte townhomes on Pleasant Grove and the Villas on Woodcreek Oaks and Blue Oaks in the Crocker Ranch area. Those are both lovely complexes and in the past year the majority of condo homes in West Roseville have sold quickly, in a month or less. I did a little more digging and found that there are at least TWO homes in that area that are available, but they weren't showing up in a normal search. That's not unusual and that's why real estate agents come in handy to do deeper searches for you in case certain boxes aren't marked correctly or in the event of two options, only one is picked, etc.
When I do searches for clients, I try to think “outside the box” to help them find just the right home for their needs. Most of the time, it doesn't matter. But when your choices are limited, like with condos, every house option is vital. When you are ready to buy, give me a call at 916-768-0127 with your specific parameters and I'll check all my resources for you. 🙂
Pros and Cons of Condo Living
The advantages of condos usually include:
- Outside maintenance is taken care of by the condo management association and/or home owners association – NO LAWN MOWING OR PAINTING 🙂 Of course, that doesn't mean you can't have some lovely potted plants like my senior mom enjoys – like tomatoes in spring and summer and autumn mums in fall. In fact, you could have them up on a table, making for a really easy “raised beds garden.”
- May make a great rental investment when you are ready to move up to a bigger condo or a single family home
- It may be less expensive to buy a condo than a single family home (though you should see some of the luxury condominiums on my Pinterest board. Those are definitely NOT less expensive. 🙂 )
Condos also have issues that some may not like:
- Home owner association fees
- Home owner association rules and politics
- If a neighboring unit has a leak, it could cause problems for your home
- May be harder to get a loan – although, according to Bankrate.com, “You may have heard that it is extremely difficult to get approved for a mortgage to buy or refinance a condominium. That was the case for several years after the housing market crashed, but lenders finally have loosened the rules on condo financing.”
- Not all condo communities qualify for FHA and/or VA loans. So be sure to get pre-approved for your loan before you start looking AND talk to your lender about the options for a low down payment with AND without FHA! (Need a lender? Call me – I have some excellent referrals for you! 916-768-0127)
Condos, Half-Plexes, Etc. on Pinterest
My Pinterest board dedicated to Condominimums, Half-Plexes, etc. has quite a few resources pinned to it in addition to some fun luxury condos eye candy. It can be quite handy when you are looking for a condo to buy or have one to put up for sale. Click here to take a peek.
Looking for Condos for Sale in Roseville-Sacramento California Area?
If you are thinking of buying a home of any kind in Roseville CA or our surrounding Sacramento Placer area, give me a buzz at 916-768-0127. I'll be glad to help you with all your real estate needs.