Condos vs. Houses: Which is Right for You?
When you’re a first-time home buyer, choosing the perfect property can seem like a daunting task. With so many options, how do you know what’s right for you? Should you buy the first property that fits your needs or should you shop around for awhile to see if your dream home comes on the market?
One of the first decisions to make the home buying process easier is what type of property you want to live in. Do you prefer the convenience of a condo? Or the privacy of a house? Here are some major differences between condos and houses to help you decide.
When you own a house, you’re responsible for all the maintenance. From fixing the plumbing to shoveling the driveway, you either have to tackle tasks on your own or hire an expert to help. On the other hand, condos usually employ a maintenance team to take care of the entire building. You’ll pay a few hundred dollars each month in condo fees (in addition to your mortgage) to make your life a little easier.
When you buy a standalone home, you have more freedom to customize it as you please. Unless you live in a community with decorating guidelines, you can paint and landscape in ways that show off your creativity. In a condo, however, there are usually rules against outwardly visible decor, so you may have to stick to showing off your style inside the home.
Because they are a separate building, houses offer a bit more privacy, especially if you install an exterior fence. Condos share walls, hallways, and common spaces with neighbors, meaning that others in your building can often see or hear you. On the upside, condo owners often feel a sense of community with others who live in their building.
Unless a previous owner built or left something behind, houses don’t come with many amenities. There may be a gym that you have to add equipment to or a pool outside. Conversely, condo amenities vary from a simple laundry room to gyms, pools, theatres, game rooms, guest suites, and more.
Unless you purchase a new build, buying a house may mean doing some renovations. Whether something needs repaired or you just want to replace old fixtures with something more your style, owning a house often takes more work. A condo, on the other hand, is usually move-in ready and won’t need any upgrades. Settling in is often faster and easier when you choose to buy a condo.
Both houses and condos have their pros and cons. What you choose to purchase all depends on the type of lifestyle you are looking for!