The US housing market is currently worth about $33.6 trillion; that’s the combined GDP of both China and the US. When you’re in the market for a place to stay, your option boils down to three options. These options are a condominium, an apartment, or a house.
Choosing between the three isn’t the easiest thing on earth, but it’s something every aspiring homeowner must do. If you’ve ever thought about buying a house in an urban setting, you’ve maybe thought of buying a condo instead. The better option between buying a condo vs house depends on your unique situation.
While a condo might be perfect for some, it might be a nightmare or unsustainable for others. Condo vs. a House options have their pros and cons. You really have to weigh in on both before deciding which one you’ll settle for.
In this post, we’ll be highlighting what could be the best fit for you between Condo vs. a House. That way, you can make the right decision when looking for your next home.
Table of Contents
What Is a Condo?
Condo is short for condominium; this is a cross between a house and an apartment. Just like a house, you can purchase a condo outright, and it becomes your property until you decide to sell it. However, condos are built adjacent to each other in high-rise buildings, just like apartments.
The modern homeowner may pick a condo over a house. That’s because it has a modern vibe, requires less upkeep, and is more social. However, there’s plenty of aspects of owning a house you miss out on when you settle for a condo.
Condos don’t have to be in multi-unit high-rise buildings. Some condos can be in communities or residential projects. Most condos share walls, just like apartments, but you can always look for detached condos if they’re more your drift.
Pros of Owning a Condo
Most people these days gravitate towards condos as opposed to individual houses. It’s because of the range of benefits these condos confer over typical houses. Here are a few benefits of buying a condo.
It’s Cheaper Than a House
On average, condos are cheaper than houses. If you have a limited budget, then you’re better off starting with a condo before getting a house. If you know how to buy a condo, you can score a lovely condo at an unbelievable price.
Aside from the initial cost, a condo is also cheaper to maintain than an entire house. That’s because you only have to deal with the interior of your house. For a single-standing house, you also have to worry about the lawn and landscaping.
As mentioned earlier, one perk of owning a condo is not having to worry about mowing the lawn. You also don’t have to worry about fencing and maintaining the garden. Raking leaves, cleaning gutters, and snow-shoveling will be a thing of the past.
You won’t have to spend your money on exterior finishes and roofing, which can dent your wallet. The homeowner’s association or HOA manages everything aside from your condo’s interior. The exterior, amenities, and lawn is none of your concern.
Since condos are usually smaller, they can be located smack dab in the middle of urban centers. That means condos can be very convenient if you need to be close to the city for work or school. Most developers build condos next to amenities to make them attractive to prospective tenants.
You’ll have to dent your bank account to get a house that’s near the site. Quite frankly, not many people can afford a house close to the city, but fortunately, condos are still a choice. If you own a single-standing home, you’ll maybe have to travel a few miles to get to school or work in the city.
If you’re a people person, then condos are just what the doctor ordered. People who live in condos live in a much more close-knit community than those in single-standing houses. As a matter of fact, you’re literally surrounded by other housing units.
What you get with that is a level of close relation and intimacy that’s impossible with single-standing houses. With houses, a large fence is maybe what separates you from your neighbor, so you rarely see each other unless you leave at the same time. In some cases, the next neighbor is a few hundred feet away.
If you want that communal feel and a social setting, then you should consider getting a condo. If not, then a house is perfect for you.
Still not convinced that a condo is better? Then why not consider all the great amenities that come with some condominiums. In fact, amenities are the primary reason why most people go for condos.
Some of these amenities may include swimming pools, tennis courts, gyms, and jogging trails. Unless you’re a multi-millionaire or opulent, having one of these amenities in your single-standing house is a pipe dream. If you own a condo, however, you can get access to these amenities without leaving the premises.
Cons of Owning a Condo
Living in a condo isn’t without its downsides. Here are a few cons of settling in a condo.
Not Much Space
For some people, condos might seem a bit too small and confining as opposed to an entire house. If you always wanted large living spaces, then a condo is definitely not for you. A home, on the other hand, will give you all the space you need or can afford.
You might not like how close you are to your neighbors. With most condos, you share walls with your neighbors.
This means any noise and smells from your neighbors get to you directly. It may not be the best choice, especially if you settle next to noisy and obnoxious neighbors.
The HOA aspect
Most people don’t like the fact that they have to conform to association rules when they buy a condo. Some of these HOA rules may be restrictive or downright draconian for most people. For instance, some associations don’t allow smoking, loud music, or having pets, which doesn’t fly with most folks.
Rising Condo Prices
Some buildings require a lot of cash to maintain, which means the condo prices must increase to match the cost of maintenance. This is common with old buildings that require frequent maintenance. So, moving into a condo may not be so cheap after all.
Buying a Condo Vs House: The House
If you’re not much of a condo person, then you can always get a house instead. A house means owning some tract of land and constructing an establishment on it that will be your permanent resident. You get some sense of privacy, but also have to dig deep into your pockets for a house
Pros of Owning a House
Owning your own house comes with a range of benefits that are worth considering. Here are some advantages of owning a house.
One thing you miss out on when you opt for a condo is the land. When you build a house, you have the land at your disposal. You can build a pool, create a home garden, or even host a few backyard parties.
You can’t say the same about a condo. With a condo, all you have is your interior space.
Unlike a condo, you don’t have to worry about rules by the HOA. You can do whatever you want with your property as long as it doesn’t interfere with the neighbors. You can hold a party, bring as many pets as you want because it’s your property.
Room for Expansion
A condo limits how many people you can have staying. That means if your family grows, you may have to relocate to a new place. A house gives you room for expansion; you can always add extra rooms and sometimes even extra floors.
Easier to Sell
A house is easier to sell than a condo and will fetch a good place. You can think of buying a house as a great investment too.
Cons of Owning a House
Owning a house has its disadvantages. Here are some cons of owning a house
Unlike a condo, a house doesn’t have an association to take care of all the maintenance. That means you’ll have to take care of the roof, gutters, and the lawn too. This equals more work and more expenses for you.
Owning a house is more expensive than owning a condo. If you find a cheap house, then it has a host of underlying problems. Either that or it’s located in the middle of nowhere.
Unless you can afford the amenities, you don’t get any amenities when you buy a house. That means you’ll have to go out of your property for the pool, gym or tennis court.
It All Rests on You
The better choice between buying a condo vs house depends on your unique needs and preferences. A condo is great if you’re just starting your first job in a new city. If you have a large family, then a house will much better accommodate the family.
Once you settle into your house, you now need to spice up your living space. Check out other pieces on the site for articles on how to make your home a better space.