When looking to buy a home, the choices can seem overwhelming. Buyers, especially first-time buyers, often struggle with whether it makes more sense to buy a condo or a single-family home. And there's no right answer for everyone. But here are some pros of each to help you make the house vs. condo decision.
- Property maintenance: Condo owners are usually not responsible to maintain their property outside of their four walls. Their monthly fee will go for – among other things – shoveling, lawn care, etc. This allows the owner more time and money to focus on their space inside those four walls.
- Condos generally cost less than houses. So, buying a condo gets you the benefits of ownership without having to plunk down as much money.
- Condos can come with resort-like amenities, such as pools, fitness centers, playrooms, lounges, and concierge service.
- Location, location, location. Condos can be found in locations where houses are not particularly common. These areas include the downtown areas of cities, near public transportation centers. Living in such a location spells c-o-n-v-e-n-i-e-n-c-e.
- Many condominiums offer security features such as a buzzer or guard service. Plus, there is safety in numbers; condominium owners tend to feel more secure in their home. There is less angst when leaving your condo for a vacation.
But most of us don’t grow up and dream of owning a condominium. Most people envision owning their own house. And while a condo has many positives, a house has many benefits as well. Let’s look at five.
- Independence. When you buy a home, you get to decide what color to paint the house, what flowers to plant, and which air conditioner to install. Unless there is a homeowners association, there is no condominium board to consult or tenants’ meeting to navigate.
- Turn the radio up. Go ahead – do it! It’s a private residence. Within reasonable limits, you don't have to worry as much about disturbing neighbors because they aren't literally on top of you and beneath you.
- “This land is your land.” Want to have a picnic, a place to host your child’s birthday party, or throw a ball back and forth? Well that’s why you have a backyard.
- We are living in a mobile age and not just in regards to technology. So, while you might plan to be in your home for years and years, things happen and you may have to sell. Traditionally, it is easier to sell single-family homes, which tend to be less sensitive to real estate trends than condominiums.
- Space. You can decide how friendly you want to be with your neighbors. You don’t need to see them in the elevator, the lobby, etc.
The bottom line is this – owning your residence is a wonderful thing, whether it’s a condominium or a house. You just have to figure out which one is better for you.