Should First Time Homeowners Buy A Condo Or House?
If you’ve decided that you’re ready to buy property and are done with throwing away money on rent each month, you could be faced with this decision: condo or house? If you already put in your time sharing a small apartment with your partner, you could really be aching for a stand-alone property like a house. But don’t discount condominium living so fast—it can offer many of the perks of a house, while eliminating some of the inconveniences of apartments. That being said, having a house is a life-long dream of many individuals. You want that driveway, that two-car garage, that playset for your kids in the yard, and the experience of watering your lawn every weekend. Ultimately, the reality is not quite like the dream in either condo or house living, but there are benefits you also didn’t expect of both. So, when buying your first place, should you get a condo or a house? Here’s a look at both sides.
Condos may see rotating neighbors
Many people buy condos as an investment, renting them out to tenants while they actually live elsewhere. For this reason, you may see a higher rotation of neighbors than you would if you lived in a house, less able to predict whom you’ll be living next to year to year.
Condos can be safer
Condos can be safer than houses because they don’t allow the public direct access to your front door. Many have security guards, or lobbies featuring doors with key fob or code access. There are several elements standing between the public and your front door.
Houses can have yards
You naturally won’t get a yard with a condo, which can be the whole appeal of buying a property for some. But, you can always seek a condo that is walking distance from a nice park to get your outdoor fix.
Condos have pools & gyms
Condominiums may come with a swimming pool, a gym, nice walking grounds, conference rooms, and other amenities.
Condos have cleaning teams
While a house may have a pool, you’ll have to clean that (or hire someone to clean it) yourself. Condominium complexes have a cleaning staff that cleans the pool, gym, and other common areas for you.
Houses allow for exterior decorating
Houses obviously allow for more exterior décor control. You can’t add vines or paint the exterior walls of a condominium. You can’t swap out the types of windows (at least not without greatly debating it with the condo board) in a condo the way you can in a house. A house is your canvas, to do with what you like.
Houses allow for more modification
Houses also allow for more renovations. You can, for example, add a guesthouse, knock out a wall, turn an office into a nursery, and do a lot of things you won’t be allowed to do in a condo.
Condos tend to be closer to businesses
You can often find many more condominiums within walking distance of shopping, restaurants, movie theaters, and other businesses than you can find houses. If you crave a little action, a house may remove you from it.
Condos tend to be closer to businesses, part 2
The downside of condos being closer to businesses is the noise pollution. There will likely be more traffic outside and cars using your street as a thru street during rush hour.
Condos come with fees
Condos can come with high condominium fees. Sometimes, the fees are so high that they significantly reduce the price range in which you can look.
Condo fees may cover utilities
Of course, if those condo fees cover things like water, trash, and landscaping, they may be worth it. In a house, you’ll have to pay for all of that yourself.
Condos are more modern
Condos tend to be more modern, featuring luxury, state-of-the-art appliances, brand new countertops, and refreshed flooring. You can find houses that are all brand new, too, but they’ll generally cost you a pretty penny.
Houses distance you from neighbors
If never sharing a wall with a neighbor again is important to you, then naturally, house-living is the only way to go. In a condo, you may still share walls with neighbors.
In a house, you cover all maintenance
Potholes in driveways, broken windows, fallen trees—you’re responsible for tending to these issues in a house. In a condo, you’re only responsible for interior damage but the condo board will address exterior issues.
Condos can be a more affordable first buy
Condominiums can be a more affordable buy for first-time homeowners. When you give up having a yard and a stand-alone property, you may actually be able to afford to own a property in a neighborhood you like, through a condo.