There are many types of homes available if you’re looking to purchase a home of your own.
Both options let you become a homeowner and build equity in your home. You can also make your own decisions regarding your living space. The main differences between them stop here. Condos are usually less expensive and can serve as a starter home or place to live if there isn’t much space.
Single-family homes are more expensive but offer more space. This is especially true if you live with your neighbors. These and other differences can help you decide if a condo or a house is right for you.
House vs. Condo: What are the main differences between them?
You can buy single-family homes or condominiums. There are many differences that you should consider when deciding which one to purchase.
A single-family home allows you to purchase your house and land, but a condo grants you the ownership of one unit. Potential buyers need to be aware of the costs and benefits associated with homeowner associations if they are interested in purchasing a condo, townhouse, or freestanding home that has shared amenities within a housing development.
Prices for housing can vary depending on where you live and the condition and size of the property. The median sale price of single-family homes in America in the fourth quarter of 2022 was $378,700, according to the National Association of Realtors. Contrary, the median sale price of condos in metro areas was $334,000.
If you are on a tight budget or have a low down payment, a more affordable option might be better for you. Condos are usually part of a homeowners association. Single-family homes may not have this option. You’ll need to assess how monthly HOA fees impact your budget.
Single-family homes are typically standalone structures that have surrounding space. This allows homeowners to be separated from their neighbors. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, the average square footage of a new single-family home is 2,561.
Condos are part of multifamily housing units, which is similar to an apartment. There are no walls that separate you from your neighbours.
Maintenance and repairs
A single-family home is owned by you and you are responsible for any maintenance or repairs. You will only have to care about the inside of your condo if it’s part of an HOA. The HOA usually takes care of the exterior.
Condo owners do not need insurance for the interior. The HOA pays for exterior maintenance and repairs. Single-family homeowners, on the other hand, must have insurance that covers the entire property and any detached structures.
Condos can be included in an HOA with amenities such as a swimming pool, gym, playground, or green space. Single-family homes, especially those that are newer, may also be part of an HOA. However this is not always true.
You will likely need to adhere to specific rules if you live in condos. These rules can cover where your car can be parked, how you can upgrade your home and whether you are allowed to rent it out. If you are looking for control over your space, a single-family home is a better option.
Things you should consider before buying a condo
It is important to fully understand the pros and cons of condos before you make a decision. These are some things to remember.
- Less expensive — Condos are more affordable than most insurance policies. You won’t be responsible for any exterior maintenance or repairs.
- Additional amenities — Your HOA might offer a range of amenities such as a swimming pool, snow removal, lawn maintenance, and more. Single-family homes might also have these amenities but that’s not always the case.
- Closer community — Not all condo communities are close-knit. However, if you enjoy being close to your neighbours and making new friends, you might find living in close quarters with those around you beneficial.
- Rules and fees for HOAs — While single-family homeowners might also have to pay this, it is standard for condos. The HOA may impose additional assessments on top of the regular monthly fee to cover any unexpected costs or shortfalls. You may be restricted by your HOA’s rules about what you can do with the property. Single-family homes are also subject to HOA rules but these rules tend to be more restrictive.
- More privacy — While living near your neighbors may be a benefit in certain ways, you cannot choose who you live next to. A condo might not be right for you if you don’t enjoy listening to the music of your neighbors all day and night.
- More difficult to sell Condos are less appealing to potential homebuyers than single family homes. Therefore, it might take longer to sell your condo when you’re ready.
Things you should consider before buying a house
Like condo ownership, owning one-family homes has its benefits and disadvantages. Before you make your decision, here are some things to consider.
- More privacy and space — If you have the means to afford it, a single-family home can give you more privacy and space from your neighbors.
- More autonomy If you purchase a house without an HOA, you have the freedom to do almost anything with your property as long as it does not violate any local ordinances. You’ll have more freedom with the rules than a condo, even if your HOA is in place.
- It’s easier to sell a single-family home than a condo.
- More expensive — If you have a tight budget, a condo might be more affordable than a single family home. Even if your monthly house payment is affordable, you will need to budget for additional insurance, maintenance, repair, and other expenses.
- You are responsible for all maintenance Even if your HOA is in place, you still have to take care of all repairs and maintenance inside and out. A condo is a better option if you are unable to maintain the home.
- Less amenities — While some neighborhoods offer a pool or other amenities, it’s harder to find them.
A real estate agent can help you find the right home for you. A real estate agent will help you find the perfect place, based on your preferences and budget.
It is important to do your research before making a decision.