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Which is a Better Buy, A Condo or a House?

That’s a good question. It really depends on what you are looking for in your new home. Do you like privacy? Are you looking for a home close to cultural events? Do you like to work in the yard? These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself. It’s all about the math and your personal preferences. Here are some pros and cons of owning a condo or a house.

Budget

While condos tend to cost less than a house, there are usually condominium association fees that are due on top of the mortgage. You will generally get more square footage with a condo than a house for the same money. In the long run, a condo will cost you less than a house.

Moving into a condo, while generally smaller, can be more expensive than moving into a comparably sized home. Condo associations often have restrictions in place on when you are able to move and who you can hire, limiting your options. Multiple flights of stairs or small elevators can also greatly increase the time it takes to move your possessions, again raising prices. Fortunately, there are more than 4 ways to receive a moving quote to ensure you are finding the best price.

Resale

It is often easier to resell a single family home than it is to sell a condo sell a condo, depending on where each is located.

Location

A condo will usually put you near local attractions, especially in downtown areas. Shopping, arts, and entertainment will be closer than they would be if you lived in a house in the suburbs. And, since most people work in metropolitan areas, work commutes would be shorter if you lived in a condo.

Privacy

A house will come with a little property, so you can have some outdoor privacy from your neighbors. Condos are situated next to each other in communities, allowing for very little outside privacy, although you will usually be able to take advantage of the amenities that come along with a condo, like a pool, clubhouse, or golf course.

You’ll interact much more with your neighbors in a condo since you are closer together (walking in together, riding in an elevator, etc.). There are even planned social activities in most condominium communities where you can get to know them better.

Exterior Maintenance

A house comes complete with plenty of exterior responsibilities like painting, gutter-cleaning, and lots of yard work. Condo associations take care of all of the exterior fixtures including snow removal in the winter. So, the real difference is your time and your money. If you like working in the yard, then a house might be the best for you, while a condo will give you more free time as part of the monthly dues.

Modifications

With a house, if you want to add a room, it’s entirely up to you as long as local zoning ordinances are followed. Heck, if you wanted to tear your whole house down and build a new home construction your way you could. You can also do anything that you want to with your landscaping if you own a single-family home. You won’t be able to alter the structure of a condo and any outside changes would need to conform with any association rules.

Security

Condos can be a little safer than houses. Often situated in a secure building or a gated community, most condominium associations will include property security as a part of the monthly fee. A single-family homeowner could have the same security for an added monthly bill.

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