Real Estate Blog by David Phillips, REALTOR



Posted by NIcole Pandeloglou on Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 at 11:03am.

In a little over 3 weeks the Virginia Beach oceanfront will transform itself into the American Music Festival.  Every year since 2001, Labor Day weekend on the beach has been a fun-filled 3 days of live music, raising money for charity, a world-class Health & Fitness Expo (approx 100,000 square feet of trade show) and of course running!

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon is one of the country’s most popular races of its kind, averaging 10,000 plus runners every year.  The Marathon Series tries to make running exciting and fun year after year with more athletes participating in Rock ‘n’ Roll running events than any other running series in the United States. 


Born in 1998 out of San Diego, CA the marathon originated as a traditional marathon while incorporating bands along the course to celebrate each runner/participant.  The brand itself has since transformed the running landscape while igniting a new love of running.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series combines running, travel and entertainment while providing a world-class event atmosphere for both participants and spectators.  The series now visits more than 30 cities each year; such as Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington DC, Nashville, Madrid and Mexico City.  Some of the biggest names in music have been associated with the weekend long festival.  Past performers include Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Pitbull, Goo...

Summer = Moisture in Your Home

Summer = Moisture in Your Home

With the extremely high heat index temps that we have been graced with lately, it is very easy for the humidity levels in your home to also increase.

During summer months the Hampton Road climate can lead to a lot of moisture in your home, which can cause damaging mildew. To control this moisture, you should think about getting a dehumidifier, which helps to remove unwanted humidity.  How your home deals with humidity depends heavily on the design and construction; a building that is more energy-efficient and airtight will have a higher chance of increased humidity problems.  This happens because the tighter your house is, the less air is exchanged. 

When this becomes an issue is when you are trying to cool your house.  The air conditioning can cause your house to cool down to a level where moisture condenses. One way to think of it is what typically happens to a can of soda when you take it out of the refrigerator on a hot summer day…it begins to “sweat.” 

If there’s too much moisture in your home, that moist air gets trapped in corners, basements, laundry rooms and other closed areas. Bedrooms and rooms closer to these areas will have a higher humidity level than ones further away. Often in bathrooms for example moisture tends to gather in the corners, in your bathtub and on tile, creating a mildew that takes some effort to remove. Be careful to not have condensation accumulate in your windows because that dripping water will cause your wood frames to begin to crack and eventually rot.

Humidity that is too high will also stain ceilings and walls, cause paint and wallpaper to peel, and hardwood floors...

What is happening around town?

What is happening around town?

Something is always happening around town in Virginia Beach or just a short drive away.   Go fishing, play a round a golf,  or head to the beach and enjoy the festivals and music throughout the year.   Have some fun and share your experiences with your friends and family.

Qualify for the Boston Marathon at the March Shamrock Sportfest’s annual 26.2 mile challenge, or run for fun in one of the shorter races.  There are a lot of races in the area, so come train with The Hampton Roads Runners.

Every spring, the Virginia Arts Festival welcomes internationally-acclaimed dancers, musicians, actors and other performance artists in one of the premier cultural events in the mid-Atlantic region.

In May, the oceanfront goes Caribbean during the annual PANorama Caribbean Music Fest, featuring steel bands and “pan” virtuosos, followed by a giant beach party at Beach Music Weekend

Redskin fans flock to the beach in May to mingle with players and cheerleaders during the Redskins Beach Blitz, while wine lovers sample vintages from around the world at the Spring International Wine Tasting.  Or, you can just go fly a kite - at the Atlantic Coast Kite Festival.

Remember the Music, Remember the Heroes honors our military heroes during the Memorial Day festival featuring special performances on multiple boardwalk stages.

The pulsating rhythms of salsa and mambo explode from the beach during the ...

TOP GOLF is Coming to the Beach!

TOPGOLF is Coming to the Beach!

Topgolf is coming to the beach!  Virginia Beach will serve as the first Hampton Roads lo­­­cation for Dallas-based Topgolf International Inc. The golf entertainment company plans to open a 65,000-square-foot, 12-acre facility off Greenwich Road between Interstate 264 and Newtown Road.  In addition to the near 30 million investment into the city over the next several years, 450 jobs will be created with 125 being full time positions.

Construction has already begun on the three-level driving range, restaurant/bar and entertainment complex with an anticipated fall 2015 open date.  Design plans include 102 hitting bays, 200+ HDTVs, a rooftop terrace, space for group events, and a game area with billiards, shuffleboard and Xboxes as well as free Wi-Fi throughout. 

 Topgolf is the premier golf entertainment complex where the competition of sport meets your favorite local hangout.  It’s a unique category of entertainment that mixes the energy and excitement of a Dave and Buster’s with the activity component of a traditional bowling alley.

Golfers hit balls at targets on an artificial turf fairway and earn points for accuracy and distance through microchips embedded in the balls. All points appear on the television screen at your bay. The farther the target and the closer you hit to its center, the more points you get (very similar to darts in that regard). Prices will range from $10 to $45 per hour per bay depending on the time of day and each bay can hold up to six people. 


Hampton Roads is a Wonderful Place to Raise a Family

 Hampton Roads is a wonderful place to raise a family!  With the coast on the right and land on the left, there are always numerous fun things to do.  We are lucky to live in such a great area to keep kids engaged with kid-friendly family activities.  From exploring with toddlers at the Children’s Museum to refreshing water slides at Ocean Breeze, you and your visitors this summer are sure to have a blast over the next few months. You and your kids can do these fun activities listed below indoors and outdoors.  I’ve broken it up by city.


• Cannonball Trail

Description: Follow markers through Town Point Park and Downtown Norfolk on the self-guided tour. 

Address: Freemason Street Reception Center for the Cannonball Trail

401 E. Freemason St

Norfolk, VA 23510

Phone: (757) 441-1526

• Hampton Roads Naval Museum

Description: Museum follows the extensive history of the fleet in Hampton Roads. Free Admission. Seasonal Family Programming.

Address: One Waterside Drive Ste 248, Norfolk, VA 23510

Phone: (757) 322-2987

• MacArthur Memorial

Description: Memorial to General MacArthur and the millions of American men and women who served in the US Armed Forces from the Civil War through the Korean War.

Address: MacArthur Memorial, MacArthur Square

198 Bank Street, Norfolk, VA 23510

Phone: (757) 441-2965

• Norfolk Botanical Garden

Description: The 155 acre garden is home to 40 distinctive themed gardens, 95 species of birds and 40...

Hampton Roads Real Estate Market Review and Forecast

On Thursday, March 12, Old Dominion University’s E.V. Williams Center for Real Estate and Economic Development (CREED), hosted the 20th anniversary of Hampton Roads Real Estate Market Review and Forecast at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.  It featured reports and forecasts from local experts about the residential, industrial, office, multifamily, retail and investment markets within Hampton Roads.

Six hundred of real estate and economic development's top industry professionals gathered at the campus for this annual event that this year celebrated two decades of transformative development across Hampton Roads. 

According to John Lombard CREED executive director and chair of the School of Public Service in ODU's Strome College of Business, this event is an important annual snapshot of a segment of the economy that is vital to Hampton Roads.

 Attendees were able to hear good news about the local real estate market regarding vacancy rates seeing declines in 2014, and while they vary by sector and submarket, forecasters suggest they are poised to decline again this year, suggesting improvement in HRVA’s real estate market.

A comparative boom in retail investment in Southside Hampton Roads, economic spinoffs from the Port of Virginia and positive signs of continued recovery in the residential housing market were a few of the strengths that the presenters indicated.

Industry challenges include the strong pull placed on the overall local economy because of sequestration, a flat-lining of the new residential home construction market, as well as the combination of higher vacancy rates and falling prices in some submarkets, like the Peninsula. 

These strengths combined with its challenges echo Mr. Lombard’s thoughts that Hampton Roads, VA is a “dynamic, multi-faceted...

Your Guide to Springtime Festivals in Hampton Roads

Your Guide to Springtime Festivals in Hampton Roads

Friday, was the 1st day of spring and I don’t know about you, but personally I am more than ready to bid farewell to wearing a winter coat and welcome in this fresh new season with open arms.  
Now that the weather is starting to warm up and I’ve already seen some daffodils blossoming, I thought this would be the perfect time guide you through all the many springtime events and festivals popping up throughout Hampton Roads.   This is only a selection of the many activities and events you can enjoy...  
Right around the corner is the CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL- the Sister Cities of Virginia Beach and Miyazaki, Japan, invite you to celebrate spring, peace, and goodwill during the blossom season. This is the 10th anniversary of the annual festival and features diverse and creative programs, traditional Japanese music, arts, and culture, while promoting natural beauty and community spirit. Free and open to the public. March 29 in Virginia Beach
Bring up the morale at the office with the 3rd Annual WORLD’S LARGEST OFFICE PARTY! 94.9 The Point is inviting you and your entire office to win prizes, meet new friends, and enjoy music by DJ Julian Rivera! April 16 in Virginia Beach 
VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL TATTOO is a grand pageant of more than 900 performers representing eight nations. Military and non-military bands, drill teams, bagpipe and drum bands, as...

Millenials Are On The Move

Millennials Are On The Move

The recession and recovery effected young adults and their headship rate more than that of older adults. Many young people struggled in the recession and as a result moved in with their parents. 

As our economy continues to improve and add jobs, younger Americans—millennials—are slowly starting to move out of their parents' homes where a record number of them have been living for the past few years.  The global financial crisis that resulted in the 2007–2009 recession forced many unemployed or financially struggling millennials (those currently aged 18 to 34) to move back home or continue to stay living with their parents.

This trend has been one of the forces holding back the US housing market.

Establishing an independent household has long been considered an important milestone in the transition to adulthood. Over the last few years, fewer young adults were establishing their own households. The share of men and women ages 18 to 34 living in their parents’ homes was larger in 2012 than in the early 2000s.

However just in the past few months, that trend has been reversing and America's young people are finally moving out!  According to data from Goldman Sachs, the percentage of 18-to-34-year-olds living with parents is now at its lowest level since 2011.

"The improvement in the labor market is likely to push up the headship rates of younger people," writes Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius. "Econometrically, we have found some evidence that headship rates respond to labor market changes in the under-35 population."   According to the National Association of Home Builders,...

Welcome Slover Memorial Library

Welcome Slover Memorial Library

Friday January 9, 2015 Hampton Roads became home to the newest and brightest place to read and learn!  The much anticipated Slover Memorial Library in downtown Norfolk encompasses 138,000 square feet of space which includes the beautifully restored Seaboard Building and showcases three centuries of architecture the 19th, 20th and 21st century.  The library is named for Col. Samuel L. Slover, who founded The Virginian-Pilot and its parent company, Landmark Communications, the predecessor to Landmark Media Enterprises and briefly served as Norfolk's mayor in 1933 and died in 1959.  Mr. Slover helped raise Frank Batten Sr. (the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Landmark) after his father died. Jane Batten, along with her late husband (Batten Sr. died at the age of 82 in 2009), provided $40 million for the library.

The design of library is definitely something to marvel at.  The nationally praised Kent Bloomer Studio created ornamental metal leaf sculptures in the six-story tower that connects the Seaboard Building and Selden Arcade which includes a glass-enclosed atrium, as well as a leafed trellis for a terrace overlooking Plume Street. 

A region that embraces public art and architecture is one that is much sought after and now the Slover Library is a destination...

Green Flash Brewing Co.

Green Flash Brewing Co.

Exciting news took place Monday, October 13th, when San Diego based Green Flash Brewing Co. officially broke ground for the construction of their 20 million dollar facility at the northwest corner of General Booth Boulevard and Corporate Landing Parkway.  The site is only a couple of miles south of Oceana Naval Air Station, home to a fleet of roaring F/A-18s and on 9 acres in the Corporate Landing Business Park.  Green Flash bought the land from the Virginia Beach Development Authority for $1.35 million.

Mike Hinkley, who founded Green Flash with his wife, Lisa, originally had settled on Wilmington, a seaside city in North Carolina for the site of their second brewery, but a last-minute trip to Virginia Beach changed their minds.  Green Flash initially decided against Virginia because, at the time, brew pubs were not allowed to sell pints in their tasting rooms. They reconsidered when the law changed in 2012 under previous Governor Bob McDonnell.  Green Flash and others credit the law change with the monstrous growth Hampton Roads has seen.

Virginia Beach, which is Virginia's largest city, has a lot in common with San Diego.  Virginia Beach has an oceanfront location, is home to a major U.S. Navy base and is a tourist magnet, drawing more than five million visitors each summer. The city is also centrally located and offers second-day freight service to two-thirds of the U.S. population, from Boston to Miami.  Random

The Hinkleys wanted to build a brewery in the mid-Atlantic so they could deliver fresh beer to about two-thirds of the U.S. population. As a matter of fact, a third of Green Flash's beer is sold on the East Coast.

Currently, Green Flash markets beer in 38 states and sells about...

41st Annual Neptune Festival

Every year, hundreds of thousands people head to the Virginia Beach oceanfront for the city’s largest and widest attended festival; The Neptune Festival Art & Craft Show.  This year marks the 41st Annual.  It has been ranked among the top 10 festivals on the East Coast and is one of one of America’s top 100 festivals.  As a matter of fact, The Library of Congress lists the Neptune Festival on its America’s Story website.

The Art & Craft Show portion is produced by The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and showcases over 275 artists and crafters lined up and down the boardwalk.  Daily concerts at festival stages are scattered along 32 blocks of the boardwalk and feature a variety of live music and performers.  Great local, as well as national talent will flood the boardwalk to celebrate the city-wide festival.  The stages this year will be located on 17th, 24th, and 31st Streets.  In addition to live entertainment, the Boardwalk Weekend will consist of an International Sandsculpting Championship (a world-class sandcastle competition), a wine tasting, delectable food, a grand parade, fireworks and numerous athletic competitions (including a 5K and 8K race, a volleyball tournament and Neptune's Atlantic Regatta); among many other things. 

The Neptune Festival was created by ...

How You Can Increase the Value of Your Home

How You Can Increase the Value of Your Home!

In our previous blog we talked about the many benefits of buying a Fixer-Upper. Whether you have decided that buying a Fixer-upper is the right for you or if you simply want to make some updates to your current home that will increase its value, we’re going to talk about some of the latest trends.

With the desire to improve our homes and with the launch of Pinterest, there have been a host of new and exciting trends both from a design perspective as well as functionality. Here are some of my favorites:

A lot of 2014 has been about mixing up new and old styles to create one big style that seems completely brand new. For instance, BRASS ACCENTS. Brass made a comeback at home-design and remodeling conventions this year and the trend is expected to continue. While brass is nothing new, it has gotten a bit of a face-lift. Highly polished, bright brass hardware and lighting is gone; rustic, dull and hammered brass is in. The new looks are often best incorporated in kitchen and bathroom hardware as well as lighting and door hardware throughout your home. Or MIRRORED WALLS. By replacing a feature wall with a row of mirrors can make a small room actually look big. Mirroring your rooms looks both modern and stylish and gives the illusion of a bigger room. The mirrors don’t have to be conventional ones either; it can often be more interesting to have different shaped mirrors in all different sizes.

Here are a few more current trends that don’t take a whole lot of money to complete:

FLOATING SHELVES Ditch the conventional shelves and invest in some floating shelves. This year could be a great time to clear some space in your home and make use of each room properly. A floating shelf is the perfect design to be hanging from ceilings and walls....

Breaking News: Big Rubber Duck Invades the 757

What the duck? ;-)  Have you seen the 40-foot "Rubber Duck" (a giant inflatable sculpture) that has made his long awaited debut by bobbing in The Hague Inlet as of yet?  If not, you must check him out.  He has already delighted thousands of visitors that have come far & wide (yes, apparently there’s even group of retirees who follow the icon internationally and now here nationally.) 

Norfolk is hosting the enchanting artwork to celebrate the Chrysler Museum of Art’s grand re-opening; after being closed for nearly 2 years due to its expansion and renovation.

The adorable and friendly “celebrity” was designed and created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman.  Mr. Hofman chooses the venues in which his work will appear. And this is the Rubber Duck's first U.S. exhibit since Pittsburgh last fall when he kicked off the month long Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts which attracted more than 1 million visitors to Point State Park.  The BIG duck will remain in front of the Chrysler Museum’s entrance, through May 26.  

Mr. Hofman dreamed up the floating installment “Rubber Duck” back in 2001 while working on his graduate art degree. He was commissioned to build it for an exhibition in France, and went big — 85 feet.  While he has scaled back his inflatable art to now 40 feet, THE “Rubber Duck” has waddled the globe while paying a visit to China, England, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and Brazil since 2007.

The Chrysler took a quick survey and estimated that approximately 2,500 pictures were taken of the world’s largest bath toy during just Tuesday's lunch hour alone.   I can’t even imagine how many have been snapped since it floated through our harbor this past Saturday, May 17th.   When I walked over...

Moving With Pets

Moving with Pets

This month is National Moving Month. Every May marks the official beginning of the moving season, a four-month period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when millions of families relocate. Due to more than three in five Americans (62%) having a pet and the fact that most families consider their pets to be members of the family, it’s important to take the proper steps that ensure the safety and comfort of your non-human family members during any relocation (big or small).  

 “Moving is very stressful for a family,” say ASPCA President Larry Hawk, D.V.M. “That stress is also experienced by the pets. They want to know that they’re part of the family and that they’ll be going, too.”

Unfortunately due to a variety of circumstances, that isn’t always the case. Moving is actually identified as the most common of 71 reasons for relinquishing dogs and the third most common reason for relinquishing cats to shelters.  However, for many people, leaving their pets behind is simply out of the question.

With proper preparation, you can ensure that your upcoming move will go not only go smoothly for you…but also for your non-human companions.  Being well prepared and doing proactive research is one of the most important things you can do, as a pet owner, prior to a move.  For instance, be sure to keep a photograph of your pet, in the event that your pet gets lost.

Moving to a new home can be stressful on your pets, but there are many things you can do to make the process as painless as possible. The experts at The Pet Realty Network in Naples, Fla., offer these helpful tips for easing the transition and keeping your pets safe...

Do Gimmicks Work?

Have you read the healines about the 100% Buy Back Guarantee?

I wanted a better understanding of how these program worked…what the "qualifying criteria" actually was.  With all the information normally available on-line, I was surprised that the only program terms I could locate were printed 5 years ago!  I have to ask, Why don't companies publish restrictions openly, especially ones that are as involved as these? In the absence of current disclosure, let take a look at what I did find... (source:
Seller's Application:
1.  Minimum price in program - $75,000; Maximum price in program - $600,000
2.  Listed X company with a present term of at least 180 days, at the full commission rate
3.  Free-standing, single-family dwelling; no co-ops, cluster homes, or condominiums
4.  Guarantee fee paid by buyer
Buyer's Application:
1.  If buyer wants the Money Back Guarantee, the buyer pays 1% of sale price.
2.  Buyer must sign Money Back Guarantee rider and Buyer application at time of presentation of offer
3.  The company must list and sell the property
4.  Free-standing, single-family dwelling; no co-ops, cluster homes, or condominiums
5.  Minimum price - $75,000; Maximum price - $600,000
6.  Buyer must occupy home as residence
If Buyer Elects To Have Home Trade-In Company, Inc. Repurchase The Home:
1.  Buyer must inform Home Trade-In Company, Inc. in writing of election to have home repurchased
2.  Buyer...

Top Reasons to Hire a Realtor

In our last blog we wrote about why hiring a realtor is important.  As we stated, there are many reasons why it makes sense but let’s examine why it is necessary.  Here are the top reasons why hiring a licensed agent is important:  
Experience & Education: 
You don't need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. The trick is to find the right person that you feel comfortable with and believe can achieve your objectives.  Why not hire a person with more education and experience than you who is not emotionally involved? We're all looking for more precious time in our lives, and hiring pros gives us that time.  Experienced agents can save you time and money.
Agents are Buffers: 
Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you're a buyer of new homes, your agent will whip out her sword and keep the builder's agents at bay, preventing them from biting or nipping at your heels. If you're a seller, your agent will filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from lookie loos and try to induce serious buyers to immediately write an offer.
Neighborhood Knowledge: 
Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but an agent will know it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.

Why Should You Hire a Realtor?

Why Should You Hire a Realtor?

In today’s world when so much information is available on the internet , you may be asking yourself  ”Why Should I Have a Real Estate Agent?”  You might be thinking that you could complete your own real estate transactions with relative ease.  Thus using a real estate agent is a thing of the past.

However, it’s important to recognize that although in the short run you may feel like you are saving money by not paying a commission; it may not always be that simple.  It might actually end up costing you even more in the long run.  Actually statistics show that selling your home with the assistance of a professional real estate agent will garner you a higher profit, enough to cover the commission as well as put more money in your pocket. According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average For Sale by Owner sales price was $174,900, while the average price for a home represented by an agent was $215,000, a difference of $40,100.

The process of buying or selling a home is not only a major financial commitment but also quite an emotional undertaking.  It’s often a complex situation that can be easier to navigate with an agent by your side. It’s helpful to have someone who is familiar with the process to assist you in navigating through the incredible amount of paperwork that comes with real estate transactions. And transactions aren’t just limited to paperwork; there are also the hiring inspectors, negotiating over who pays for needed repairs, keeping up good relations with the sellers (through their agent) and more. All of this is almost innate and comes natural...

Tips for a Smooth Loan Approval

Tips For a Smooth Loan Approval

  • * Do continue making your mortgage or rent payments
  • * Do stay current on all existing accounts
  • * Do keep Working at your current employer
  • * DO continue to use your credit as normal
  • * DO call us if you have any questions
  • * DO NOT make a major purchase ( car, boat,fur, jewelry, etc)
  • * DO NOT apply for new credit ( even if you seem pre-approved)
  • * DO NOT transfer any balances from one accont to another
  • * DO NOT pay off charge offs or collections without a discussion with us first
  • * DO NOT buy any furniture
  • * DO NOT change bank accounts
  • * DO NOT max out or over charge on your credit card accounts
  • * DO NOT Start any home improvement projects
  • * DO NOT Finance any elective medical procedure
  • * DO NOT open a new cell phone account
  • * DO NOT open, close, combine or payoff any loans or credit cards without discussing it with us

If you encounter special situation, it is best to mention it to us right away so we can help you determine the best way to achieve your goals.


Can I have two VA loans ???

McLean Mortgage  constantly gets asked “Can I have two VA Loans?” The answer varies depending on the situation. It depends on the amount of entitlement and the loan amount.

There are two types of entitlements – basic and the bonus entitlement. The basic VA entitlement is $36,000. Every eligible veteran also receives a “bonus” entitlement which is much more than the basic. The bonus entitlement kicks in for VA loan amounts over $144,000.00. Essentially the entitlements can be used for any loan amount without a cap. There is however, a limit on the amount the VA will guarantee. This is based off the VA county limits. If you’re county limit is $417,000 than the VA will only guarantee a loan for $417,000 and nothing more. Both entitlements can be used in combination with each other.

If a veteran has a loan that is up to $144,000 than the veterans bonus entitlement is still available. The only issue is that the VA loan is only for owner occupied properties, which means you can’t have more than one VA loan in the same city.

Veterans can use their entitlements as many times as they want, as long as prior VA loans have been paid off, or if a veterans’ entitlement is still available. The VA entitlements are restored when prior VA loans are paid in full.


Should I Buy a Condo?

Should I Buy a Condo?

Due to resurgence in urban living, more and more buyers are considering condos over single-family homes in recent years.  Condos tend to be located in urban areas, for example in downtown Norfolk and within walking distance of shops, restaurants and other places of high interest.  

In addition, some also have resort-like amenities, such as pools and fitness centers, which are often cost-prohibitive in a house. According to HGTV FrontDoor, people are now living busier lives, which make condos an attractive choice due to their convenience and low-maintenance lifestyle.  Being that association fees cover the exterior as well as the expensive components of the structure, maintenance is limited to the interior of the dwelling.

Many condos offer gated or locked entries, doormen, or even security professionals for residents. If you live alone, or security is a concern for you, this can be a major perk. In addition, you’re living in close proximity with many other people and in an emergency; you’ll have plenty of people to turn to for help.

Condominiums are often priced lower than single-family homes. If you want to dive into home ownership, a condo can be a great first step. Purchasing a condo is often a good investment if the buyer is a first-time home-buyer and if the only other option is renting. 

By the same token, what is an advantage can also be a drawback. Condo fees are in addition to the monthly mortgage payment and are used toward building maintenance and amenities. When extra money for maintenance is needed, these...