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Condo vs Home: Which Should You Buy?

Reviewed by: David Naimey

Approved by: Chad Turner

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Choosing between purchasing a condo or a single family home can be a very tough decision. Especially if you are a first time home buyer.  Are you someone who enjoys being in arms reach of neighbors and living in a very low maintenance lifestyle? Or are you someone who enjoys having more space and finds thrill in the upkeep of a yard or garden? You should be able to make an good decision after comparing these pros and cons for either home type!

Pros For Buying A Condo

Buying a condo comes with plenty of good reasons to support your choice! If you are someone who prefers living in urban areas defined by very high population density, a condo is a prime choice. Condos allow easier access to public and private transportation. Condo living may also allow easier access to amenities like entertainment and grocery stores. Buying a home with a yard in the middle of a city may be very unlikely depending on location. A home can be in violation of the housing codes and current infrastructure rules set for the city as well. The flexibility of a condo also allows the option of buying in less populated areas as well.

Another reason to purchase a condo is the ability to not have to mow the lawn! You also do not have to deal with all of the exterior maintenance. Maybe you are someone who’d rather let someone else worry about the cosmetics. Maybe you still like having some control over the interior decor. If this is the case, then the condo life is for you! Your condo’s Homeowners Association may cover even additional items depending on your community, such as water and cable.

You will always have neighbors close by that you can grow relationships with! Condo life has a different sense of community as well. It removes the chance of feeling lonely that you can experience living in a home far away from people. Condos have wonderful common areas, may have weight rooms, tennis courts, and other areas to pursue a hobby, while meeting other condo owners.

Cons For Buying A Condo

There are some limitations to buying a condo, and most of them deal with the homeowner’s association. This condo fee can sometimes cost a good amount of money as well. It’s a good idea to have an idea of how your homeowners association fee will affect your monthly payments. Also, keep in mind that the homeowners association will not cover any interior repairs. You are responsible for the appliances in your home if they need to be repaired or replaced, which is no different than how it would be in a single family house.

If you are someone who enjoys more of a private life, a condo may not be for you. You will always be surrounded by people who may bring noise and distraction. And unfortunately, you cannot control who you have as neighbors. Your neighbors may be loud at night or even unsanitary. This can definitely have an affect on you and your living conditions. Nothing worse than purchasing a home in a condo with a thriving infestation problem that can’t be 100% remedied.

Pros For Buying a Single Family Home

Buying a house has plenty of benefits! The main reason why you would choose a house over a condo is the space! Homes have very lenient rules when it comes to expanding and remodeling! You can add your own personality to your home, inside and out without limitation. Maybe you are welcoming a new member of the family and need another room or you would like to make the kitchen a bit more open. You can easily add a room or knock a wall down to accomplish both of these tasks. Another bonus is the fact that your mortgage payment is pretty close to your total monthly payment. There aren’t any homeowner association fees unless you live in a community that has them. These communities are usually gated and have other rules that homeowners need to abide by.

If you are someone who enjoys mowing the lawn or tending to a full garden, a home can help you keep these activities apart of your life. You can expand your garden as far as your property line permits while also keeping your lawn looking maintained. Additionally, you can live the private life that you enjoy without the noise and intrusion of loud neighbors. Your neighbor’s living conditions won’t affect your own, which leads to a peace of mind. You can engage with them as much as you’d like.

Cons For Buying A House

Home ownership does not come without its disadvantages. While you are able to completely maintain all of your property, that does not come without expense. It can be expensive to purchase all of your lawn tools and garden supplies that you would not need if you were living in a condo. On top of needing to purchase tools for maintenance, if there are any issues outside or inside your home, you are fully liable. This can mean covering the cost of removing a tree that towers over into your neighbors yard, for example.

With more space in your home than most condos, you will also need to expend more to cover utilities and bills. Sometimes, condos have the homeowners association fee or condo fee that covers these utilities, including any fluctuations. However, as a homeowner, you will be expected to cover any fluctuations. If family decides to visit during the summer, this can mean a pretty big jump in your light bill as well as your water bill.

Buy What’s Best For You And Your Family

Hopefully we’ve helped with narrowing down your decision to purchase either a single family home or a condo. While either choice is a good choice, it is up to you to buy what’s best for you and your family! Whether you are single or a couple looking to start a family, there are condos and single family homes that will satisfy your needs!

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