Looking to buy your first place? If so, then one of the first questions your real estate agent will likely ask you is whether you're set on buying a standalone, single-family home or are open to other types of properties. One common alternative to a single-family home that is especially appealing to first-time buyers is a condominium. Before you start delving into local homes for sale, you may want to decide whether a condominium or a single-family home is right for you.
Single-Family Homes: Pros and Cons
With a single-family home, you're buying a standalone dwelling, along with the land that it occupies. Generally, single-family homes tend to be larger than condos (though this is not always the case) and allow you more freedom when it comes to renovations and exterior changes. Plus, with a home, you'll likely have a decent-sized yard, which can be ideal if you have a dog, children, or simply enjoy entertaining outdoors.
On the other hand, when you own a single-family home, you're also responsible for a lot more in terms of maintenance. This includes not only your exterior landscaping and yard care, but keeping your curb appeal maintained as well (this is especially true if you live in a community with a strict HOA).
Condominiums: Pros and Cons
With a condominium, you're purchasing a dwelling that is a part of a larger residential dwelling and owned/maintained by an HOA (in most cases). You will most likely have less square footage in a condo than you would with a home, and any outdoor space you have may be limited or must be shared with other condo owners who live in your building. On the flip side, owning a condominium often means you don't have to worry about exterior maintenance. Instead, you'll pay a monthly or annual fee to have the HOA handle all of this on your behalf. In many condominium communities, there are also special amenities such as a pool, fitness center, and clubhouse.
Which is Best For Your Needs?
Ultimately, the decision between a home and a condo mostly comes down to the level of responsibility you're willing to take on--as well as how much space you need. If you'd like to enjoy more of a maintenance-free lifestyle, then a condo may be right for you. On the other hand, if you value having more space and no shared neighbors, you might want to stick with homes during your search.