If you are looking to purchase a condo, it is probably because there are some very nice perks to owning a condo. It is home ownership with all of the amenities of apartment renting tossed in (e.g., someone else does the yard work, maintenance and repairs are handled through the condo owners' community board, etc.). However, you may want to be wary of condos for sale on land that is still being developed for future construction, and here is why.
The Property Owner Can Choose to Sell the Undeveloped Land to Anyone
The owner of the property on which these condos sit can choose, at any time in the future, to sell the remaining condos and/or undeveloped property to another party. That means that you could end up with a giant commercial parking lot or a massive retail store just feet from your front door. Most condo owners choose their homes because of the location and the premise that the area will be developed for residential purposes, creating more houses and neighbors, but if the property is zoned for more than residential development, the owner can sell off the remaining land and any unsold/empty condos to the highest bidder.
The Yard You Do Have May Be Used for Access Road Construction
One of the perks of condo living is that you do not have to do any yard work. Someone comes and mows, weeds, trims and makes the yard look beautiful for all of the condo owners in the area. However, it also means that, at any time, part of your yard could be turned into an access road to reach other condos behind yours or cut through the neighborhood to reach city streets. Some condo owners are not concerned about this since it does become a thing of convenience for them, but others are concerned because that is property they paid for that becomes a public through-way. The one upshot is that you can meet with the condo owner's association and vote on these issues, thereby halting or restraining the construction of streets on your condo property.
Buying a Condo, Knowing the Risks and Knowing Your Own Power to Veto
If these particular issues do not seem a bother since they are not a present issue, then you can buy a condo on developing/underdeveloped property and take these risks in the future. The one reigning thing to remember is that, as a member of the condo owner's association, you may (with your fellow owners) have the power to veto any land contracts that the property owner may present. Most condo owner's associations meet regularly to discuss issues, and your participation in major decisions regarding your new home will help circumvent the possibility of the aforementioned problems in the future. Aside from these issues, condo living may be the best financial investment you can make.