Buying a Condo vs a House: What Is Right for Me?


Condo vs a House

If you’re thinking about buying your first home in the Isle of Pams Wilde Dunes or anywhere else in the country, the choices can seem overwhelming. One of the biggest decisions is what type of home to purchase. Both condos and houses offer benefits and downsides, and going over the pros and cons of buying a condo vs a house with your realtor can help you decide which is the best choice for you.

House and Condo Costs and Fees – What’s the Difference?

Cost is a huge factor when it comes to buying a home for sale in Mount Pleasant, SC, or somewhere else, and a condo often comes with a less expensive price tag upfront. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price for a home in the United States in 2022 was about $416,000. Equivalent condos, on the other hand, had a median price of up to $45,000 less.

The lower the cost of the home means the more likely it is that your monthly mortgage payment will be lower as well, depending on the amount you put down. This can be helpful for homebuyers who are on a tight budget. It’s also a plus for people who have qualified for a smaller home loan. Getting pre-approved for a loan can help you determine your maximum budget and decide how much you’re comfortable paying each month.

Although condos are generally less expensive up front, they often have much higher homeowner’s association (HOA) fees. Because condos are joined together in a home or complex, fees must be collected from each condo owner, usually monthly, to pay for things like outdoor maintenance and landscaping.

Some freestanding houses are also part of an HOA, and owners must pay a yearly or monthly fee. These fees, however, are often hundreds of dollars less than those of condo HOAs. Before you decide on a condo or a house, it’s a good idea to read up on the different HOA fees in the neighborhood you’re looking at to get a feel for what they offer and what return you’ll be getting by paying them.

Consider Maintenance Options

Homeowner’s association or condo fees can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars each month, but many people prefer to pay them. This is because these fees ensure that condo owners won’t need to worry about most of the maintenance to the outside of the building. In many condo complexes, for example, HOA fees help pay for landscaping, clean-up after storms, or any necessary repainting.

Not having to worry about maintenance is a huge plus for many first-time homeowners in the debate between buying a condo vs a house. Owning a home requires a large amount of responsibility, and situations can arise that you might not have considered. The help you’ll get from the condo complex can take away some of that stress and ease you into homeownership.

On the other hand, many people prefer to do the maintenance themselves. If you’re skilled at gardening or working outside, you might be able to save money each month. If you perform maintenance yourself, you’ll also be able to choose exactly how things look and when they’re updated. Having an HOA do this for you takes those options away.

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Privacy, Rules, and Regulations – What’s Important to You?

Another important thing to consider is how much privacy you like. Condos are usually connected, often in large buildings. This means you’ll most likely share at least one wall with your neighbors, and you’ll see and interact with other people in the complex frequently.

Many people find the community in a condo complex fun, exciting, and welcoming. You’ll need to always be courteous of your neighbors, though. Listening to loud music or watching a movie with the sound turned too far up isn’t usually a good idea. If you have neighbors below you, you’ll need to be conscious of how much noise you make as you walk around.

Because of the homeowner’s association, most condos also have rules and regulations, such as what can be placed in your yard or where you can park, that the condo owners must follow.

Owning a house, on the other hand, often gives you a little more freedom regarding how loud you can be. If you own a home, you can turn up your TV full blast or rock out to your favorite songs without bothering anyone. Your neighbors will be less likely to be able to see into your home, too.

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Think About Resale Value

Many people choose a condo as a starter home, which means you’ll probably sell it for an upgraded home later on. Since they cost less, to begin with, though, condos often have a lower resale value. They can also be more challenging to sell than a house, and they might stay on the market longer.

Before you choose a home or condo, think about your goals. Look at the current market values for homes and condos in your area. You can also talk with your real estate agent about resale opportunities and what direction they feel the market is taking. If you do choose a condo, consider opting for a two-bedroom as these condos generally sell faster than studio or one-bedroom condos. This can help you sell more quickly later on down the road.

Condo or House?

Overall, condos are usually less expensive and require less maintenance. This can help you get started as a homeowner without all the stress of owning a house. However, you’ll need to pay for that maintenance, and the cost of condo fees can sometimes greatly increase your monthly price. At the end of the day, condos and houses are both excellent choices, and which is right for you depends on what you’re looking for in your home.

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