“The American Dream” – for most people, this traditionally means owning their own home. Similar to the effort needed to make any dream come true, being a homeowner takes a lot of work. Buying a home means committing to making any repairs that are or will be needed, along with a commitment to maintenance and landscaping chores as needed. Home ownership for some means having to worry about break-ins when you could be relaxing on vacation, or it may mean settling for living in an area that wasn’t your first choice.

If these kinds of considerations give you pause, why not consider living in a condominium instead? For some people, a condo purchase represents a stage prior to buying a traditional home; for others it is the best fit for their lives over the long term.

The condominium market in the United States is growing in popularity. In bustling, artistic, urban settings condo life is ideal. Living in the midst of a city gives you access to public transportation and puts you within walking distance of shopping and dining. In areas like Santa Fe, New Mexico, this means being in the beating heart of the city’s art, music and entertainment 24/7. Even in areas outside the center of the city, many buyers enjoy the security – matched with the elimination of maintenance and yard work – that condos offer.

The sense of community one gets from condo living attracts many buyers. Since all the residents have a vested interest in keeping the building(s) clean, safe and quiet, condos are the ideal environment for people who value an extra level of protection and camaraderie.

Here’s another advantage to condo life that might not occur to everyone. While many condos have very large square footage, condos typically have less square footage than similarly priced single family homes. For many condo buyers, this means making a commitment to wise use of space and to dealing with accumulation of “stuff.” For single family homeowners, it can be easy to fill room upon room of a house with items, including many that lack even sentimental value. Soon, you’re not even able to park your car in the garage anymore. But the compact coziness of some condos makes it imperative to budget your space. When you’re not filling up empty rooms, you are bound to live a cleaner, more organized life.

Being a homeowner is a big decision. It’s also not for everyone. If you want fewer home maintenance tasks, or if you just prefer a simpler, more organized life, perhaps condo ownership is your cup of tea.