Owning a Condo vs. a House: Which is better for you?
Trying to decide whether to buy a condo or a house? A condominium is usually a private residential unit attached to other similar units by a common wall, while a house is detached.
Condos typically share common areas and facilities like swimming pools and laundry rooms.
If you buy a condo, you’ll get the exclusive right to everything inside, while the outside, like the land/grounds and facilities such as a pool, are shared and owned with the other owners complex.
With a single-family house, you’re the sole owner of both the structure and the land it sits on.
While there is no one right answer for all, considering various factors like affordability and liveability among others can help you make the best decision for your situation.
If price is a major concern, a condo may be your better bet as it can provide you with a stable home at a more affordable cost. Condos are usually cheaper.
For example, in Seattle, the median price of a condo is $450,000, whereas the median home price is $760,000, reports the Seattle Times.
You might even find options like a condo rent to own that can make it easier for some to buy.
City, the Suburbs or Countryside
If you want to be in or near a city, a condo may be the better option as they’re often found in downtown areas or at least close to city amenities.
When you own a condo you’re more likely to be within walking distance of shops, restaurants, job opportunities, cultural attractions, and nightlife.
Condo owners typically enjoy a shorter commute to work, with homeowners more frequently living in suburbs further away.
At the same time, if you prefer peace, quiet and lots of privacy, a house in the countryside may be ideal.
Maintenance Time and Cost
When you own a home, you’ll have to spend time maintaining it, inside and out.
Just some of the responsibilities can include mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, shovelling snow, cleaning out the gutters, replacing torn screens and so on.
Buying a condo means you probably won’t have to worry about any of that as the exterior will be maintained by a homeowner’s association.
That means you’ll enjoy more time to yourself, perhaps taking off to the beach for the weekend or enjoying more vacations, traveling to faraway places.
While some home communities do offer security, you’re more likely to find that when you buy a condo as complexes are often staffed with guards and/or guided and included sophisticated security systems.
While some homes do have access to things like a community pool, with a condo you’re likely to get that among a long list of other perks, like a clubhouse that can be used for special celebrations, a park with a picnic and BBQ area, tennis courts, a fitness center and maybe even a golf course.
If you think you’ll use those facilities, you may be able to save a significant amount of time and money by purchasing a condo with access to them.
If you buy a house, you’ll probably have to travel to them and perhaps pay entrance fees too.