Condo life is not for everybody

Living in a condo is like living in a rental apartment. People who live in houses need to understand this before they downsize to a condominium.

Close-quarter living

Individualists who bring the freedom from restraint that they had in their private, single-family houses to the communal living of a condominium, where a home is your castle only from the wallpaper in and where the owner trades freedom from yard work and other maintenance chores for a bondage to rules governing everything from barbecues to boats, flower boxes to pets may find the cultural shock to hard to handle.

A condo is not a place where you can change the oil in your car, store your boat or rebuild a motorcycle in your parking spot. You probably will not be allowed to have a bird feeder or let you cat run free at night.

Loud late-night parties are not allowed and you may have to get rid of your dog if she barks when you are not at home or when anyone in the hallway walks by your unit.

The condo may have rules stating that your window curtains facing the street must be white, you cannot store your bicycle on the balcony and you must keep your pet on a leash while it is on the common elements.

The swimming pool, basketball court, aerobatics room and the other amenities may be open only at certain times of the day and the board may restrict the number of times a week a resident can use them.

You may find that you are not allowed to run a small business out of your unit if you have retail customers coming in and out of the condo.

You must also give the manager a key to your apartment so the superintendent or workmen can enter your apartment in case of an emergency when you are not home, fire safety inspections, vermin control and maintenance work. Some people do not want to do this.

Condo life is a communal existance and the residents need to adjust to the bylaws and rules that have been made by others.

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