For many searching North Shore real estate or buying a home on Chicago’s north shore, condominiums/townhouses are downgrade worthy and potentially a more affordable option to single-family homes in several North Shore markets. They’re ideal for those who appreciate a maintenance-free and convenient lifestyle. But before you consider buying a North Shore condo or townhome, make sure you do your legwork. Listed below are some of the highly valued elements to consider:

  • Security access. Keyed entries and even doormen are common in many condos. You’re also closer to other people in case of an emergency.
  • Association or condo rules. Although you have a vote, the rules of the condo association can affect how you use your property. For example, some condos prohibit certain indoor upgrades. Others prohibit pets, or don’t allow owners to rent out their units. Read the covenants, restrictions, and bylaws of the condo carefully before you make an offer.
  • Perks-Amenities. Many North Shore condo properties have swimming pools, fitness centers, indoor stores and other facilities that make living more comfortable, especially in winter months.
  • Built in community-neighbors. You’re much closer to your neighbors in a condo or town home. If possible, try to meet your closest prospective neighbors.
  • Storage. Some condos have storage lockers, but usually there are no attics or basements to hold extra items.
  • The space outdoors. Yards and outdoor areas are usually smaller in condos, so if you like to garden or entertain outdoors; this may not be a good fit. However, if you dread yard work, this may be the perfect option.
  • Overall maintenance. Many condos have onsite maintenance personnel to take care of common areas, do light repairs in your unit, and let in workers when you’re not at home — good news if you like to travel.
  • Funds reserved and fees. Although fees generally help pay for amenities and provide savings for future repairs, you will have to pay the fees decided or changed by the condo board, whether or not you’re interested in the amenity.
  • Resale. The ease of selling your unit may be dependent on what else is for sale in your building. Units are often fairly similar. Planning ahead on any upgrades can give you an edge, but approval may be required.

For a list of North Shore Condos for Sale or North Shore homes for sale visit the following sites:

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