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Minnesota Condos & Townhomes For Sale - Latest Listings!
As of March 29, 2023 there are 2827 active Minnesota Condos & Townhomes For Sale - Latest Listings! condo listings for sale with an average listing price of $374,075. The highest-priced condo is $6,500,000, while the lowest priced condo can be purchased for $1. Minnesota Condos & Townhomes For Sale - Latest Listings! condo listings for sale have an average price of $216 per square foot, based on condo listings with an average of 2.5 bedrooms, 2.4 bathrooms, and 1,720 square feet of living space.
Minnesota Condos & Townhomes For Sale
For many, condos can be an attractive alternative to the idea of traditional, single-family home ownership. The word condominium refers not to a specific style of home or complex, but to a dual approach to the idea of ownership. In this dual approach, owners enjoy the use and ownership of their own private living space while common spaces such as hallways, pools, yards, parking lots and such areas are used and owned jointly by all of the members of a condo or townhome association. While condos come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, all condominium complexes share the characteristic of having many people come to live closely together in some form of a community, agreeing to certain restrictions and covenants to govern the use and enjoyment of common spaces. When weighing whether to purchase a condo, townhouse or a single-family house, there are a variety of issues to consider. If you have ever contemplated owning a condo, below are a few of the key factors, both positive and negative, to consider as you make your decision.
Advantages of Minnesota Condominium Ownership
First and foremost, condos typically make affordable first homes for individuals or couples. A single-family home in Minnesota of a comparable size will usually cost more money per square foot than a condominium. Condos also make great abodes for older, retired folks looking to downsize into smaller homes with little to no maintenance responsibilities. In resort areas, condominiums are particularly popular for the affordable, modern comforts they afford. In these populated, crowded resort areas where land prices are at a premium level, condos offer a great alternative to lake homes & cabins which are likely on larger, more expensive tracts of land. Condos are frequently located near popular shopping, dining and business establishments, further enhancing their appeal for many, especially in urban areas.
Condominiums in Minnesota are frequently composed of attached townhomes, duplexes, apartments in modern high rises or old apartment building converted into individual units. The actual private space of the condo is typically owned by an individual or family. Common areas such as hallways, elevators, yards and pools are typically owned and maintained by a separate association. Condominium owners in any particular complex will usually be required to pay a monthly association fee to contribute to their portion of the larger building and common area maintenance issues. The expenses of roofing, siding and other large-scale maintenance items are shared between the condo owners, thereby reducing the burden on any particular condominium owner. While there may be restrictions prohibiting condominium owners from making cosmetic changes to the exterior of the building, condo owners are likely to be able to decorate the interior of their property as they choose, subject to some small restrictions such as the appearance and style of window coverings and other décor visible from the exterior of the unit.
Minnesota condo owners may also be able to enjoy more spare time, avoiding traditional, single-family home chores such as yard work and gardening. Frequently, the condo and townhome owners association will pay for and organize lawn mowing, trimming, gutter cleaning, painting and flower bed maintenance, relieving the condominium owners of the burden of completing these tasks themselves. As an added bonus, snow shoveling in colder climates will also likely be taken care of by the condominium association. Also, if the roof of your single-family home caves in or the basement floods, while you may be able to obtain some insurance coverage, the burden of fixing it will usually fall squarely on your shoulders. Common areas affected by such catastrophes in condominium complexes will be repaired and maintained by the association governing a particular complex, relieving the individual owners of this burdensome chore.
Comprised of attached townhomes or apartment-style complexes, most condos will likely share a wall, two or more with other adjoined units. There are both advantages and disadvantages to such a lay-out. On the plus side, utility expenses for heating and cooling may be reduced by the insulation provided by the adjoining condominium units. Condo & townhouse owners' associations may also place restrictions upon the size and breed of pets, which can be good for folks looking to avoid the possibility of a Pit Bull or Rottweiler next door.
While the appreciation may not be as great in some locales, condo owners will enjoy many of the same benefits as single-family home owners. Specifically, condo owners will be able to accrue equity as they pay down their mortgage expenses. Unlike apartment tenants who pay monthly rent to the landlord without seeing any long-term financial benefits, condominium owners will be able to enjoy the ability to increase their home equity and potentially see a financial profit when they ultimately sell the condominium. Tax advantages available to single-family home owners are also likely available to condominium and townhome owners, making it possible to deduct mortgage interest payments from your adjusted gross income.
Condominium associations are also able to offer outstanding amenities to their owner-residents. Items such as pools, whirlpools, concierge services, twenty-four hour security surveillance, fitness rooms and the like are frequently available in upscale condominium complexes, further enhancing their appeal to prospective residents.
Disadvantages of MN Condo & Townhome Ownership
Unlike apartments, condo owners will be responsible for interior maintenance items on appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines and the like. While these costs are not to be taken lightly, they are typically not as significant and the large exterior maintenance items such as roofing and siding.
While mortgage interest may be tax deductible, condo owners' association fees, otherwise known as maintenance fees, are not. There may also be special assessments that are levied against condominium & townhouse owners when larger items are necessary for the building as a whole. Association fees are also susceptible to periodic increases over the years. Such potential increases should be spelled out in a contract condominium owners will be required to sign prior to buying into a particular complex. This agreement entered into by the condominium owners in a particular complex is often referred to as Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, or 'CCR.' The fees under this agreement may be referred to as 'maintenance fees' in the agreement; however, this may be a bit of a misnomer. Fees may be more appropriately described as 'association fees' as they likely encompass expenses beyond just maintenance including common utility expenses, management expenses and insurance. It is important to have a thorough understanding of how the agreement between condominium owners is structured in a particular complex, so that you can budget for potential increases in association fees and dues.
Monthly fees and dues may help to pay for pools, saunas and other amenities you really do not use. While such amenities may be attractive to prospective buyers in the future, it is important to consider how much you might utilize these amenities as you pay for them year after year. This is especially true for swimming pools as the upkeep, cleaning and insurance premiums can be costly for the association to provide.
While adjoined units may help reduce heating and cooling costs on your electricity and gas bills, condominiums may not necessarily afford the same level of privacy and peace a single-family residence would provide. Neighbors may be able to hear noises through the adjoined walls, impacting the peace and quiet of the complex. If quiet and solitude are important to you, be sure to ask current owners what their experiences are before purchasing a condominium in a complex. This may help to avoid any unpleasant surprises after moving day.
Space limitations may also present a disadvantage to some prospective Minnesota condominium owners. Many condo complexes place restrictions on the type and size of pets owners are allowed to have. Even if your condo building does not prohibit certain breeds, there may be space limitations preventing you from owning larger animals. MN Condominium owners rarely have access to much, if any, yard where a pet could run and burn off energy. Condominiums typically have a smaller square footage than single-family homes, making them less than ideal for larger families. Single young adults, couples, or folks with one or two children often find themselves to be most satisfied with the condominium lifestyle. Many condominiums do not have attics, basements or garages where excess property can be stored while it is not being used. Parking is frequently outside and condominium owners may not have access to any type of garage to protect their vehicle from the elements.
The Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCR) may also contain restrictions that may affect the interior decorating choices of condominium owners. One such restriction often limits the color, style or appearance of window coverings. As a condominium owner, you will not be able to make exterior changes to the property either.
One issue to be aware of is that in many Minnesota markets, condos and townhomes do not appreciate at the same rate as single-family properties. When housing markets are negatively impacted, condominiums are frequently the first properties to decline in value and the last to increase in value when the market begins to turn around.
The Bottom Line - To Own a Condo in Minnesota...or Not
Even with the disadvantages of condo living, many people are attracted to the numerous advantages associated with condominium ownership. Their appeal also can make them a great investment for those looking to enter into the world of real estate investment opportunities. Condominium complexes can be cheaper to construct than single-family home developments, making them a more attractive real estate investment for many knowledgeable investors. A local realtor with a stellar reputation can help you identify the perfect condominium property to suit your needs and help you to navigate through the issues associated with condominium ownership.