Can’t decide between buying a condo and a single-family home? Check out my condo vs. house guide for all the need-to-know facts!
Condo vs. House – The Buyer’s Big Choice!
If you’re a first-time buyer, then choosing between a condo and a single-family home is one of the biggest calls you face. So, stop burying your head in the sand, and forget about spending another year living with your parents – it’s time to get smart, and make an informed choice!🤔
The Hard Facts
First up, I’m not about to tell you that a condo’s better than a home – or vice-versa… Why, because I’d be lying. Both condos and single-family homes have their pros and cons – so it’s up to you to make your own mind up. #itsyourlife!
I’m not all about tough love though, so here are some pointers to help! 🙂 ☝️
Condos can be the Easy Option!
When you buy a condo, you’re really just buying the interior space – so the structure of the building, and the land it’s on, aren’t yours – they’re owned collectively by all the condo owners in your complex. Because of this, you’re not responsible for those oh-so-dull maintenance tasks like exterior painting, cutting lawns, roof repairs, or whatever else can (and will!) go wrong with a regular home.
(Some) Condos Have Amenities!
Some condos have shared-access amenities – but don’t take this for granted! In some developments you’ll get nothing, in others you might have a laundry room, in others still you might have a gym, roof-top pool, and 24/7 concierge. Suh-weeeet.
Condos can be Cheaper!
This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule – some condos are high-end, with a price tag to match, and some single-family homes are available at bargain-basement prices (did I hear the words ‘renovation project’?) But, a lot of times, condos are that bit cheaper than individual homes, so if your ego can stand the idea of living in a building that you don’t own completely, then you could be set to save a few $$$’s!
So, condos win – right?
Like I said at the start, condos have pros and cons compared to houses…
Condos Come with Fees!
This shouldn’t surprise you – I mean, who did you think was covering all that maintenance work, or providing your amenities… the tooth fairy?
The fact is, you can expect to pay a monthly fee to cover your share of the costs of routine building maintenance, repairs, insurance, and to pay for all those swish extras you were getting so turned on by earlier!
Condos Have Rules!
Buy a home all of your own, and you can normally do more or less what tickles your fancy (up to a point!) Buy a condo, and things get a little more hit ‘n’ miss…
Want to paint the exterior a different color? Want to keep a pet pooch? Want to smash down a wall and enjoy some open-plan living?
If you’re living in a condo then you better be sure you’ve read your covenants, conditions, and restrictions documents first! 📚👀
Condos can be Harder to Finance
OK, this one gets a little technical, but no skipping forward – seriously, I’ll know if you do…
For most millennials, buying that swanky new condo depends on getting your finance in place first – but that can be tougher than you’d expect! The banks need to know that if you can’t cover your repayments, they’ll be able to foreclose and repossess your condo, then sell it at a high-enough price to cover their loss…
✅First the bank will check there are no other claimants to the title, then they’ll appraise the value of the condo – so far, so standard – and they’d do the same for a single-family home too. But then they’ll run a few ‘condo specific’ checks on top:
They’ll be looking out for red flags – like other condos in your complex being vacant, rented, or in foreclosure. They’ll also look at the legal agreements and rules that apply to the condo – and ask if these make it unattractive to others, or harder to sell. They’ll even look for problems with the homeowner’s association finances! 😬
Like that wasn’t bad enough, many first-time buyers love FHA loans – but these can be even harder to secure on a condo than a regular mortgage is – and the complex you’re buying into will need to meet some detailed requirements – check them out here.*
Condos can be Harder to Sell
Still dreaming of a condo? OK, but one last point… Your condo may be harder to sell than a single-family home. Why? Simply because a lot of buyers can be put off by the downsides of condo ownership and, even if they’re not, they may not be able to get the mortgage they need to actually make the deal happen!
Even so, when the market’s strong, selling a condo doesn’t have to be a whole lot harder than selling a single-family home – most times, this is only really a big issue if your condo has higher than normal monthly fees, super restrictive rules, or issues with the complex that make the banks say ‘No thanks!’
But you should know that when the market drops, condos are often hit the hardest… 😥
Over to You!
I’ve done my thing, and laid out some of the biggest reasons why buyers choose condos – as well as some of the biggest reasons why they don’t! But now it’s up to you to say what matters most in your own life, and make the call that’s right for you!
PS: Need extra advice? Want a pro on board to find a condo or family home that’s the perfect fit for you? Contact me today.