Condo or Single Family Home The Pros and Cons of Both
If you are a first time buyer or moving to a new city, you’ll likely face a critical decision: Should your new home be a single-family house or a condo? There are pros and cons to each side so it depends upon your priorities, values and needs. Ultimately, the buying process for condos and homes are about the same and with loan rates on mortgage loans trending near all-time lows, this is certainly the time to buy any property.
There are many benefits to owning a condo, including convenience and it being a low maintenance option. Most condo associations take care of basic upkeep such as landscaping and common areas. Condos can have as much space as a house but without the maintenance required of a single-family house. Additionally, some condos may have access to amenities such as pools and fitness centers and security. Furthermore, some condos can be conveniently located near shopping and highways. Condos tend to be a good fit for those who travel because they can leave your property for extended periods of time without having to worry about security or upkeep.
If you’re thinking of buying a condo because of the lower price, remember there are monthly condo fees you’ll have to pay. The fee amount is usually based on the square footage of the unit, so larger units pay more per month in condo fees. Condo associations can also charge members special assessment fees in order to complete large projects or repairs. And because the condo association depends on fees from all members of the community, when one member falls behind in fees the other members have to pay more to make up for the loss.
On the other hand, when you buy a house you will also own the land associated with the property. It can be costly to do maintenance and repairs to the home, especially if it is an older home to begin with. And the older the home, the higher the utility bills may be due to less use of energy efficient materials.
More space is also one of the advantages of owning a house. A house has outdoor space which is ideal for people who have—or plan to have— children. The house is all yours which can allow you to make any alteration as you see fit (and acceptable to your HOA if applicable). Landscaping and renovations, even additions are all possible with a home that are not possible with a condo. And lastly, the most important reason for owning a home over a condo relates to privacy. There are no shared walls when owning a single family home so you can play your music or dance or sing as loud as you like, within reason.
No matter which you choose, you must do your homework and consider the neighborhood you may be living in. Location, location, location is one of, if not the most important factor, to consider in any home buying purchase. Whether you choose a single family home or a condo, it is a significant investment, and you need to find an acceptable home to capable and nurturing your future.