You know you are ready to become a homeowner, but have you given it careful thought? Have you thought about not only where you want to live, but also what type of property you want to purchase? This is not a one-size-fits-all transaction. Each person will have a different reason for the type of property they buy. We recommend deciding the type of property you want to purchase before you even get pre-approved for a loan. This way you’ll know the type of financing you need and the requirements you must satisfy.
So now the bigger question – how do you decide between a house and a condo?
Reasons to Choose the House
Some people know right off the bat that they want to purchase a house, not a condo. They want the freedom to do what they want to the home (inside and out) and they want to handle all of the chores that come along with owning a house, such as mowing the lawn and shoveling the snow.
If you aren’t set on buying a house just let, read on to learn the reasons a house might be right for you:
- Do you need space? We are talking outdoor space here. Do you have kids or pets that need a place to roam? Do you like to garden or plant flowers? If so, you may want a house just for the backyard that it provides. You can do what you want (up to the city’s code) in your yard, giving you a little more freedom.
- Do you need space inside? Condos are great, but they don’t always have a lot of storage space. If you have kids or just have a lot of stuff, you may find solace in the basement or attic space. With a condo, you either have to fit everything in your unit or rent storage at a facility to hold some of your stuff.
- Do you like the feeling of a neighborhood? When you buy a home you are off on your own land, but you buy into a community. If you live in a close-knit neighborhood, you may do things with your neighbors or just feel better knowing that there are people around you that you can lean on should the need arise.
Reasons not to Choose the House
Of course, there are reasons that you may not want to choose a house. For starters, it’s usually more expensive. We aren’t talking just to buy the home, but to run it. The utilities, repairs, and maintenance often cost much more than it would cost to buy a condo.
You’ll also be responsible for the tax bill. While you’ll pay taxes on a condo, chances are the taxes will be lower because of the less amount of living space you have. Depending on the size of the home that you buy, you could end up with a hefty tax bill.
When you buy a home, you agree to properly maintain it. This includes the exterior of the home. Whether it’s the mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow, fixing the siding, or repairing the roof, you are responsible for all of it. There’s no association to call or ‘people’ that will just take care of it. You have to either fix it yourself or pay someone to come out and do it for you.
Reasons to Choose the Condo
Living in a condo has its benefits too. While it’s not the property everyone will prefer, some people like it more than owning a home. You may want to choose a condo if:
- You don’t want to handle exterior maintenance. Your homeowner’s association usually handles the lawn, snow removal, and regular maintenance of the exterior of the condos
- You like amenities close by your home. Many condos come with access to a community pool, exercise facility, and clubhouse.
- You want to spend less. Since condos are typically smaller than homes, you may be able to get a condo for less money than you would a single-family home in the area that you are looking to buy.
- You like living right next to your neighbors. In a condo, you share walls with your neighbors. Chances are you will see your neighbors often as you come and go from your condo too. If you like that community feeling, a condo could be good for you.
Reasons Not to Choose a Condo
Of course, living in a condo has its downsides too. A few things you may want to consider before you choose a condo include:
- The fees can get high. Depending on the amenities and services provided at your association, you could pay a hefty association fee to live in a condo.
- You don’t have the freedom to do what you want to the home’s exterior. Like we stated above, the association handles all exterior work. This also means that you don’t have control over things like the color or type of the roof and/or siding. You also have to get approval to many any changes to the home’s exterior.
- You won’t have much outside space. If you have pets or kids, this could be an issue if they need an area to run around.
As you can see, a home and a condo both have their good and bad sides. You should sit down and think about what it is you want out of a home or condo. Think about the extra costs, such as taxes and association fees. Also, consider what you plan on doing with the exterior of the home and the amount of time you have to handle exterior chores. This can help you decide which type of property is best for you.Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates»