More on Downtown Living Costs

When you focus on price-per-square-foot in evaluating costs, downtown condos may seem expensive. But there is more to the cost:

- Energy costs in a condo are typically very low: it's not uncommon for average utilities in a 2,000 SF unit (Electric + Gas + Water) to be under $100 per month. A similar house with a lawn could have average monthly utilities in the $300 - $500 range.

- Maintenance costs are included so you won't have to spend $10K for a new HVAC unit, roof, or other potentially expensive repairs.

- Downtown living can enable a different life style. Some couples or families may be able to eliminate a car and the related gas, insurance, and financing payments that come with it.

- Many buildings include amenities such as swimming pools, shared "guest" bedrooms, etc. that allow tenants to live in smaller units that they might otherwise own. If the building has an extra bedroom that can be used when guests are in town, you may be able to live in a unit that is smaller than a comparable single family house.

- And there are many more economic benefits: you won't need a paid security system or service, your insurance premiums will likely be lower and you won't spend money on landscaping, exterior painting, or pool maintenance.

So while the price per square foot may seem high, think about the complete picture. There are some great economic benefits to life in a downtown condo.