There are more decisions to make when buying a house than just the location. You also have to decide what type of house you want. Do you want a single family home where you are responsible for everything but you live separate from others? Or do you want a condo where you live in close connection with others, yet you have very little maintenance to worry about?
Living in a condominium may save you money on the purchase price in some cases, but it’s not the right choice for everyone. Keep reading to learn what you should consider.
The Benefits of a Condo
There are some definite benefits of condo living. Whether you are single or a family of four consider the following perks:
- Many condos have amenities you might find at a resort, such as work out facilities and pools
- There is very little, if any, exterior maintenance required
- All repairs to the exterior of the property are done for you (sometimes at your cost, though)
- Close living quarters with neighbors which often promotes a close-knit community feeling
- Depending on its location, size, and features, many condos cost less than single-family homes
Depending on your family’s likes and preferences, condo living may be your cup of tea. For example, if you know you’ll use workout facilities and the pool often, it could be worth it to live in a condominium development. If, however, you are always on the go and don’t have time for those types of amenities, it may not make sense.
The Disadvantages of a Condo
Of course, there are downsides of owning a condo. They include:
- You’ll pay a monthly association fee, which depending on the development could be rather costly
- You’ll have to abide by the association’s rules which can often be rather strict
- If you have any backyard space at all it will be minimal
- You have to live very close to your neighbors, which some see as a downside
- You are at the risk of other homeowner’s habits, including their timeliness with mortgage and association payments
Looking at condo living overall, it can be a good thing if you choose the right development in the right area. Choosing to move somewhere that the other homeowners are irresponsible and don’t care for the areas or don’t pay their bills on time could backfire on you. It could affect your home’s value and/or your association’s ability to maintain the property.
The Benefits of Owning a House
Buying a house has its advantages over condo living. They include:
- You have complete control over what you do on/at the property as long as it is up to city/county codes unless the development has an association (this is becoming more common)
- You will likely have more outdoor space, namely a backyard
- You will have more privacy even if living in a cookie cutter neighborhood
- You may have more storage space
If you enjoy your privacy and want control over your own living space, buying a home may be a better option for you. The expanded outdoor space and storage space are also great benefits, especially for families with kids.
The Disadvantages of Owning a House
Owning a house comes with a lot more responsibility, some of which can be seen as a disadvantage:
- You are responsible for all interior and exterior maintenance including the cost
- The house will likely cost more than a condo in most areas
- The cost of running the home on a regular basis generally costs more (utilities and insurance, etc.)
Buying a home generally means higher bills and more responsibilities. It may also mean a lower interest rate on your mortgage and more write-offs on your taxes, though.
Choosing between a condo and a house is a personal decision. Condos are not always cheaper than homes, you can certainly find it the other way around. There are luxurious condos and small homes, so you can’t base your decision on cost alone.
What you should focus on is the type of life you like to lead. Do you mind living closely with neighbors and making decisions with them regarding common areas? If so, condo living won’t be a bad choice for you. If, however, you prefer a private life and being in complete control, a home may be the better option.
Of course, it comes down to what you can afford and that includes the mortgage that you can afford. Many lenders charge higher interest rates for condominiums because they are a higher risk of default. Keep this in mind as you shop around for you the right home and mortgage for that property.