Buying a property requires substantial financial and emotional investments, which can make it a very difficult decision. When purchasing a property, you will need to decide if you want to buy a condo or a house. While condominiums are often tempting due to their price, it is still generally advisable for most to buy a house. Houses retain their value, have significantly more freedoms, and don’t carry monthly maintenance fees.
Houses and condos often vary substantially in price. A condo might be under half the price of a similarly-sized house. Often, there is a greater demand for houses than condos. Condominiums can have bankrupt homeowners’ associations that cannot perform necessary maintenance tasks on the building. Condos are also less appealing for families with children or pets as they don’t have a backyard. These issues make houses more appealing overall, which increases demand for single-family homes. This helps to keep house prices more stable even in turbulent economic times.
Homeownership carries with it significantly more freedoms. Unlike apartments or condos, you are free to alter your house. Any changes in a condo that involve common space must be approved beforehand by the association. (Although some homes are in HOA neighborhoods with restrictions for the exterior as well).
Condos can restrict your building options. For example, homeowners associations can prohibit hardwood floors, prohibit certain paint schemes, and require specific windows to be used. You cannot do any alterations to your unit that are not allowed in the rules. Naturally, with houses, any alteration you want to make can be done with the necessary city permits. These freedoms make owning a house easier than owning a condo.
Condominiums generate revenue to perform maintenance tasks through monthly fees. They can be used to pay someone to cut the grass, repair garage doors, or paint the exterior. When considering a condo, it is important to keep these fees in mind. If you live with people who desire immaculate common areas, they may vote for higher maintenance fees. Conversely, if you live with people who don’t care much about the common areas, they may vote for lower fees. Either direction affects the value of your condo and your living experience there. Property taxes are still paid in addition to the monthly maintenance fees. With a house, you do not have these fees. You will need to perform maintenance on your house, but you are in control of when and how that is done.
Houses tend to be more popular than condos. They provide better value retention, more freedoms, and don’t have monthly fees like condominiums. If you are the type of person that has a large family, or you enjoy the freedom of having your own property, then purchasing a house is right for you. It might be more expensive initially, but it will provide you with a more enjoyable living experience overall.