Condominium or House: Which is Right for Me?

by : Kinan Beck

"Most people get to a point when they want to buy a home. In fact, many people are reaching this point sooner rather than later because of all of the advantages of home ownership in comparison to renting. But often, people aren't sure whether they should actually buy a house or if they should look in to buying a condo instead. This is especially true for younger home buyers who might want the benefits of living in the more communal situation of the condo. But of course there are pros and cons to each of the choices. How do you know which one is right for you?

A condo is probably the right choice for you if:

Ã?â‚?? You are a single individual or a couple that is looking for a small home rather than a large property.

Ã?â‚?? You are comfortable living in close proximity to your neighbors.

Ã?â‚?? You are interested in being part of a small community living in the same complex.

Ã?â‚?? You don't have a lot of money to spend but still want to invest in home ownership.

Ã?â‚?? You don't mind having certain aspects of your home ownership regulated by a committee (a home owner's association made up of some of the tenants who live in the other condos).

Ã?â‚?? You live in an urban area where condos are common (such as New York or certain parts of California).

Ã?â‚?? You would like to have amenities like a pool or a shaded grounds area but aren't able to maintain such amenities yourself either because of the time that it takes or the cost.

A house is probably the better choice for you if:

Ã?â‚?? You are a very private person who does not like living close to your neighbors or having your home choices regulated by an association.

Ã?â‚?? You are investing in home ownership primarily for the purpose of resale of the home in the future (since property values are usually higher than condo values).

Ã?â‚?? You are seeking to purchase a large home and / or you need outdoor grounds areas for things like large pets.

Ã?â‚?? You enjoy maintaining your own yard or garden.

Ã?â‚?? You have (or plan to have) a large family.

Ã?â‚?? You live in a rural area or in a location where there are not many condos on the market.

As you can see, although there are always exceptions, condo purchases are usually best for single individuals who have neither the money to invest in a house nor the time to maintain the upkeep of the home. These tend to be young people who don't mind apartment-style living in close quarters with their neighbors, who are comfortable having some regulation by the home owner's association and who enjoy sharing common areas with others. Often, condo buyers are first time home buyers. If, in contrast, you are an older adult who has (or may soon have) a family and would like the freedom and privacy of a home with its own property, then a house is probably the right choice for you."