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Condo vs. House Purchase: Which is Right for You?


Choosing to purchase a home is a major decision but deciding on what type of home to buy can be daunting. The most common homes that people end up choosing to purchase are either a condo or a house. Both options have benefits and drawbacks, which means determining which is right for you is an important aspect of the homebuying process. 

How does a condo differ from a house?

There are a couple of primary differences between a condo and a house that are important to cover. First and foremost, when you purchase a house you purchase the structure of the home itself along with the land that it sits on. However, when a person purchases a condominium, they are only buying the structure of the condo, not the land that the condo sits on.

Condos can either be in smaller communities or in large high-rise buildings, similar to apartments. With that said, if there are issues within the condo you purchase, a condo association exists that can handle those issues on your behalf, whereas homeowners need to reach out to professionals themselves to solve problems that arise. 

Benefits of a condo

There are a number of primary benefits that a condo offers over a house, with some of the most prominent including:

  • Condos have a lower purchasing cost than most homes
  • Condo associations will solve maintenance problems on your behalf
  • Condos can bring about a great sense of community between you and other neighbors
  • You have access to a number of community amenities within the condo neighborhood 

Drawbacks of a condo

On top of all of the above benefits, there are a number of drawbacks that someone needs to keep in mind before purchasing a condo:

  • There are additional fees you will need to pay when purchasing a condo
  • Condos come with a certain lack of privacy
  • You don’t own the land under your feet
  • Selling a condo can be more difficult than selling a home depending on the location, community, and other factors

Considerations to keep in mind when looking at condos

There are a number of beautiful locations for condos around the world. For example, beachfront  condos for sale in Daytona Beach Shores will be far cheaper than home purchases and can offer stunning views. If you’ve decided that purchasing a condo is right for you, keep the following five points in mind as you start browsing condos: 

Think about the area surrounding the condo

Similar to purchasing a house, location can make or break a condo. Consider whether there are ample amenities in the surrounding area of the condo, such as restaurants or shops. Think about the safety in the area you’re at to ensure you are living in a built-up area. Additionally, for those with kids, consider the school districts in the area to see what the educational system in the surrounding area looks like. 

Consider the shared amenities that come with the condo

One major benefit to living in a condominium complex is the shared amenities that you have access to. After all, if your complex has a gym, as an example, it could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars yearly on a gym membership. Think about these amenities as you consider your purchase. 

Determine whether they are ample job opportunities in the area

Career growth opportunities are an important aspect of choosing a location to live. Think about the proximity of the condo to office buildings that have job opportunities to be sure you aren’t isolating yourself from future opportunities. 

Tour a complex before purchasing to get a feel for the neighborhood

The neighborhood is a major factor to be considered when purchasing a condo. Always take the time to tour a condominium complex to see what the neighbor’s units look like in order to gain a feel for the neighborhood as a whole. 

Tour the interior of a unit to ensure there are no hidden damages

Similar to the above point, take the time to tour a unit rather than buy the condo sight-unseen. While photos can give a good indication of what a unit looks like, they don’t tell the entire story. It’s always best to visit the unit itself to see what the interior looks like.

Budgeting for a condo purchase 101

With a median purchase price of $315,000 for a condo, learning how to budget for this major purchase always needs to be a priority. To that end, use some of the following tips to create and stick to your budget:

  • Save up for a down payment years in advance of the purchase time
  • Think about your current debt-to-income ratio and figure out how much more debt you can afford
  • Cut back on certain expenses in order to save more towards a down payment
  • Set money aside for all related closing costs ahead of time or any fees that may come up
  • Reach out to different lenders in order to find the most favorable rate that fits your budget

Factors to consider before making a major condo purchase

Along with all of the above, there are a number of factors that a person needs to consider before making a purchase. Keep some of the following items in mind prior to reaching out to the listing agent for the condo:

  • Can you afford a condo purchase without throwing yourself into debt?
  • Do you like the area the condo is situated in or are you settling?
  • How long do you plan to be in the area? 
  • Do you plan on ever selling the condo in the future?
  • Have you met any of the neighbors in the complex yet? 

Find your perfect home today

The perfect home will look different from person to person. While a house may be the right choice for one person, a condo can be the best option for another. Evaluate your needs from a home, the number of people who will be living in that home, and the location of that potential home in order to see if it meets your needs. 

How does a condo differ from a house? What are the benefits of buying a condo? What are the drawbacks of a condo? What financing options are available to buy a condo? Real Estate, Home vs. Condo


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