Condo Versus House: Which One is Right For You?

With your young family getting larger and your current residence seemingly getting smaller, you’re ready to begin the path to property ownership. However, there’s a dilemma; you and your wife are unsure if you should purchase a home or a condominium to begin the next chapter of your life. To help edge closer to a decision, here are the pros and cons of both types of residence.

Size and Location

Ranging from a studio apartment to a three-bedroom patio home, condominiums come in a variety of sizes and environments.  They also tend to be located in more heavily populated areas within city and town limits, meaning the potential for less privacy. If you’re looking for close knit environments, purchasing a condo could be the right choice. Homes also come in a variety of sizes and locations, but not all are built in planned communities. Thus, there are more options further away from population centers if looking for a little more privacy for the family.

Price

It depends on size and location for both. If looking for a residence in a popular downtown area or well-known suburb, prices for homes and condos may be elevated beyond standard values. The further you move away from these heavily populated centers the less you’ll probably pay. However, when it comes to price per square foot, you can end up getting a better deal for a home than a condo, especially if it sits on a parcel of land large enough to allow potential renovations and expansion.

Home Improvements

Generally, condominium owners are permitted to make changes to the interiors of their residences but not the outside. Modifications to the roofing, siding, or landscape are normally made across the board through the condo association. If you’re a homeowner, you can make changes to both the interior and exterior, though outside changes may need approval from the community owner’s association. If purchasing a stand-alone home outside of a planned community, you can make any changes to the exterior you see fit.

Additional Costs

There is the potential for home association fees if living in a planned community. Ranging from one hundred to several hundred dollars a year, accumulated funds are used in to plow roads,  provide general maintenance to public areas, and maintain playgrounds, swimming pools, or sports courts located within the development. Condo association also charge fees. These tend to be more than home association costs due to the regular maintenance of not only public areas but the exteriors of their home properties.

Resale Value

This is a toss-up. Historically, resale values for condominiums have trailed far behind those of single-family homes. However, with the Great Recession knocking everyone to a level playing ground, this statement isn’t as true. Still, there are certain cities and regions where resale values of condos are much better than existing homes, and vice-versa. A review of sites like Trulia and Zillow would give you a better idea of how much condos and homes resold for in the area where you are looking to live.

 

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