Condo or House? Questions to Ask Yourself to Make the Right Decision

Published on July 1, 2020 under First-Time Home Buyers

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Your finances and lifestyle are finally in the perfect place to buy a home. This is an exciting time for anyone with some very big decisions ahead. One of the biggest decisions to make is whether you will buy a condo or a single-family house. Both have many great advantages and the choice is a highly personal one. Would you rather a beautiful apartment-like home with a plethora of building amenities or the freedom and space of a home with its own lot and yard?

We know this can be a tough decision, but the best way to help yourself choose is to ask some key questions. The way you answer the following questions will reveal whether you would be happier in a spacious home or an amenity-rich condo.

How Much Space Do I Need?

Homes on a lot have more potential for floor space and yard space. Larger families tend to be happier in a home with a yard, while more compact families, singles, and professional couples often enjoy the sleek design of a condo instead. How much space does your household need? How many bedrooms? How much room to kick up your feet or spread out on the floor? Use your knowledge of yourself and your family to judge how spacious your home needs to be.

Do I Want a Private Backyard or a Nearby Park?

Having a yard is something that some people care about deeply while others could take-or-leave. Determine how you feel about having personal outdoor space. Many families and pet owners enjoy a condo with plenty of green space and very nicely built parks on the grounds. But you might prefer to plant your own garden or have a private space for your children or pets to play instead.

What Amenities Do I Want to Enjoy?

Amenities are another big question. Most homes come with the basic appliances like a washer, dryer, stove and oven, HVAC, dishwasher, etc. But condos are equipped with building amenities that no solitary homeowner could easily afford. Pool and hot tub might be included in your condo, or you might find a great deal of value in a building's fitness center and gym equipment. If you choose a condo, you might even find a building with a small grocery or a coffee shop on the ground floor.

Do I Want to Live Downtown or in the Suburbs?

Where you want to live also matters. Condos offer vertical residences, meaning dozens to hundreds of people can live equally close to downtown and their nearby office buildings with a short, convenient commute. Single-family homes, on the other hand, are more often found in the suburbs, a half-hour or more from the city centers where jobs and shopping tend to concentrate.

Will I Enjoy a Shared Building Community?

Some people buy a condo in-part for the joy of being close to their neighbors. It is so much easier to start or join a book club, find friends to go running with, or just meet and greet your neighbors when you live in the same building. This creates a stronger sense of community and a greater opportunity for closeness. You might alternately prefer the space, physical and personal, of a single-family home. Some people want more privacy and space instead.

How Much Home Renovation Do I Want to Do?

Lastly, ask yourself how much you want to customize your home. A single-family home has a lot of modifiability once you have made the purchase. You can even rearrange the walls or build an addition. A condo is only modifiable inside the unit, you cannot make major changes to the structure or infrastructure because this would affect your same-building neighbors. If you want easy in-building maintenance, choose a condo. If you want to DIY your dream home, choose a house.

Is a house or a condo the right choice for you? When you are ready to move forward with your home search, contact us today to speak to a local loan officer who can help you get ready for the bid.

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