Here are a few points to consider when deciding whether to purchase a condo or a single-family home:
Your lifestyle. Whether you’re an empty nester looking to downsize or an up-and-comer just starting out, a condo can be a more worry-free investment than a single-family home. Condo associations handle home maintenance, landscaping, snow removal, and the upkeep of common areas in exchange for association fees – lifting these burdens from a busy professional or a homeowner who isn’t up to a lot of physical labor.
Location, location, location. In urban markets where there aren’t many single-family properties available, buying a condo might make home ownership in the city possible. If you’re the type of homebuyer who wants to live in the city, either to be close to work or to enjoy the cultural opportunities afforded by urban living, you might be surprised by the condo options available. Developers in urban areas have used existing buildings and spaces to craft luxury condo living with access to public transportation, shopping and dining, and parks and recreational facilities.
Amenities. While you may not be able to afford a single-family home with a swimming pool or tennis court, the shared amenities offered in a condominium development might include fitness facilities, a clubhouse, or other shared spaces for the exclusive use of condo owners. However, if you value privacy above all else, shared facilities might not be quite so appealing.
Independence. When you buy a single-family home, you can pretty much call the shots in terms of changes you want to make to the property. Condo associations typically have more stringent rules. Knocking down a wall to alter your living space probably won’t be an option, so if you enjoy making sweeping home renovations, condo living might not be the right choice for you.
Your neighbors. It’s important to remember that you may be sharing walls with your neighbors if you move into a condo. It is worthwhile to see what kind of people live in the condo development before you decide to move in. Compatible neighbors are a must when living in close quarters.
Additional costs. When taking into account your monthly mortgage payment, you’ll need to make sure to factor in condo association costs. Do your research and find out how much these costs average, what they buy you, and how often they are price to increasing.
Every prospective homebuyer is different, and each must weigh all the options when deciding between a home and a condo. If you’re considering a purchase, be sure to speak with a qualified loan officer to find out your financing options.