Renters who are eager to start building home equity often start with a condominium because some condos have a more affordable price than a townhouse or single-family home.

In addition, first-time buyers are sometimes attracted by the low-maintenance lifestyle of a condo. While you are responsible for maintaining the inside of your unit, the exterior of the building and common areas are handled by the condo association. When buying a condo, it’s important to check the condo fees and what they cover as well as the financial health of the condo association. Condo associations establish their own rules for leasing a unit and for pets and a variety of other issues, so it’s smart to read the rules before committing to a purchase.

A one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo at the Waterford Condominium in Kensington in Montgomery County, Md., is listed for $199,000, well below the median sales price for a home in the county, which was $490,000 in September, according to Bright MLS. The 1,280-square-foot condo at 3333 University Blvd., No. 1003, has a monthly condo fee of $654, which includes all utilities and parking. Annual property taxes were $1,636 in 2019.

Community amenities include a recently renovated lobby, a party room, a rooftop swimming pool, storage space and an attended front desk for package delivery, building maintenance and security. The Wheaton Metro station is 1.3 miles from the Waterford and a MARC train station is less than one mile away. Residents can walk to Kensington village, which is known for its antiques stores.

The condo was previously owned and renovated by an architect who upgraded the bathroom with an oversize soaking tub and mosaic tile from Porcelanosa and added glass cabinets in the renovated kitchen. The main living and dining area has floor-to-ceiling windows, and each room has direct access to the balcony. The kitchen has granite counters, stainless-steel appliances, stone tile flooring and a mosaic stone backsplash. The den, living and dining areas have parquet wood floors.

Assigned schools include Rock View Elementary, Newport Mill Middle and Einstein High, all rated below average compared to other schools in Maryland by GreatSchools.org. The high school is part of the Downcounty Consortium, which means students can enter a lottery to attend one of five high schools.

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For more information, contact real estate agent Orla O’Callaghan with Re/Max Realty Centre at 301-275-0375.

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