The Pros and Cons of Buying a Condo vs. a Single Family Home
A lot of home buyers struggle with the decision over whether they should buy a condo or house. From amenities to cost to what you’re going to use it for, they all can factor into your choice. There are several advantages to either option and it really boils down to personal preference.
A condo typically has added amenities that are covered collectively in the HOA fee and are available to all of the owners in the association. Often times there is a pool, recreational facilities, meeting rooms, a function room, gym, etc. It is important to determine what actually is included and what the availability is for such amenities before buying. There are also usually options available for condos that do not include these amenities
Your Back Yard
For many people, the idea of owning a home has a lot to do with envisioning entertaining guests, and a good portion of entertaining is done in the yard. With a single family home you have the privacy of your own space and exclusive enjoyment. Of course, that includes maintaining the lawn, gardens, trees and bushes on the property. If the idea of pushing a lawn mower around on your day off or after work isn’t appealing, a condo might be more for you. If you want to have cookouts and big parties at your place, a single family home is probably the better choice.
One of the biggest drawbacks to buying a condo is the limitations that come with how you can decorate and/or use the external space. If you want to put up holiday decorations, paint your front door a loud accent color showing off your individuality, or change the landscaping in front of your unit, a condo probably isn’t for you. It is important to check out the Home Owner’s Association before you buy a condo.
This is probably the biggest factor to consider. Whenever I am representing a buyer, the first thing I consider about a potential property is whether I think I would have a hard time selling it for them in the future. When the economy goes south, condos are the first properties to lose value and the last to recover when the economy comes back. When you factor in that you are paying for the collective ownership of a number of common areas and the general maintenance of the exterior of the whole complex, the obvious conclusion is that a condo comes at a premium cost for the convenience of ownership that comes with it. From an investment standpoint, condos fall short because of the added premium cost of ownership. Keep this in mind if you decide to buy a condo.
If you are considering purchasing a property as an alternative to renting, a condo might be exactly what you are looking for. A condo does still have the added cost of HOA fees, property taxes, and insurance that an apartment doesn’t have, but you are building equity with your monthly payment and with long term market appreciation. A single family home would offer the same option in equity, but also would add on more maintenance expense and time which makes it a lot less comparable to renting as a condo would be. As a rental alternative, our advice would be to buy a condo.
This is one thing that I have experienced being a deal breaker on a condo for many buyers. While there are condo associations that do allow pets, most of them have restrictions on size and limitations on number of pets. If you are planning on having a large dog, a single family house with a good sized fenced in yard would probably make the most sense.
No Snow Shoveling
Most condo associations include snow removal with the HOA and have contracts with local companies to clear their lots and sometimes even clean off the cars for their association members. With some of the winters we have here in Southern New England, this can be a big time saver versus having to get out early and clear off your own driveway, front walk, and sidewalk before heading out to work. If you hate shoveling snow, buy a condo that has a good snow removal contract as part of its HOA services.
As it stands, there are clearly a number of advantages when considering whether to buy a condo or a single family home. Ultimately it really does boil down to how important the advantages are to you and how comfortable you are giving up the advantages the alternate option offers. It’s always worth chatting with your Realtor about the pros and cons. If you really aren’t decided after weighing the options, the next step would be to schedule some tours of both condos and single family homes so you can get a feel for being there.
The above article, “The Pros and Cons of Buying a Condo vs. a Single Family Home”, has been provided by Stephen Perrino. Stephen is a professional, full-time Realtor with PAIVA Realty Group and has helped many people buy and sell homes throughout the entire Greater Providence area for many years! If you are in the market to BUY or SELL a home, he would love to connect with you and can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 401-206-8907.
Are you thinking of selling your home? I’m very good at marketing homes to sell quickly, and for more money. If you’re a first-time home buyer then you’ll be in good hands. I’ve helped countless first-time home buyers through the entire process of buying that first home! I have a real passion for helping folks buy
and sell homes here in the great state of RI and I would love to connect with you!
I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Providence area cities & neighborhoods: Cranston, Providence, Warwick, East Side of Providence, East Providence, West Warwick, Scituate, Johnston, East Greenwich, Exeter, West Greenwich, Smithfield, Lincoln, North Providence, Pawtucket, Barrington, Tiverton