Condo vs House

Condos Vs Houses: Which Would be the Best for You?

November 20, 2022
Table of Contents

Are you considering getting home but need to know which type is best for you? This is a common problem among potential homeowners, especially when faced with the condos Vs house conundrum. Whether you're looking to buy your first home as a single-family or you want to get away from paying rent to build equity with the property. 

Each option has its pros and cons, so buyers must consider several other factors alongside the features of the properties to determine their best option. Preferences defer, so there is no definite answer for everyone. However, understanding what each property type brings will give you a clear idea of your specific situation with the budget, lifestyle, and amenities considered.

This guide aims to differentiate between these two popular property options for buying a home. While both options involve owning a home, they have many differences that set them apart, which is good since confusion is minimized once you understand each property type. So, let's see what each property type means without further ado.

What is a Condominium?

A condominium is a property owned by an individual in a collection of various units often seen in high-rise buildings and sharing walls. Condos share amenities like swimming pools, garages, and walkways. A board known as the homeowner's association (HOA) owns the exterior, including the facilities on them, but they're open to using it for all the occupants of the condos. 

As well, from owning the exterior structures and common places, the HOA manages and maintains these sections with the monetary contributions of the condo owners. The condo owner only owns the space inside the condo, with the exterior parts owned by the HOA or condo board. You'll find that the condo is typically over a small area.

What is a House?

When used loosely, the term "house" can describe a residential building. However, in this context, a house refers to a free-standing residential building with exterior walls not connected to other residential buildings. 

A house usually has a surrounding area that may contain other facilities like a garage, lawn, and swimming pool. The house owner also owns the land, garage, and other facilities. Typically, a house is big with a lawn and even a front yard. 

Differences Between a Condo and a House

Condos and houses are residential buildings owned by individuals; however, that's almost all about their similarities. Nevertheless, they feature many differences, and that's what we'll be seeing in this section.

Cost

Owning a home is a long-term investment requiring a lot of capital, depending on the location, size, features, and more. Beyond the cost of purchasing the building, other costs involved include property taxes, mortgages in some instances, and more. 

Condos are much smaller in size compared to houses, so the cost of purchasing a condo is less expensive. In addition, since what you own in a condo is limited to the interior space, property taxes and insurance are also lesser with condos. 

However, you'll have to pay monthly or yearly HOA fees to maintain the common areas and facilities with condos.

A detached single-family house is far more expensive, which is no surprise since houses are bigger and ownership is full, including its land and facilities. While there are no HOA fees attached to houses, you'll be doing the maintenance yourself, and where you can't, you'll have to spend some money to employ help. 

In addition, insurance and property taxes are higher with houses as ownership is full and the house is bigger. 

Privacy

How important is privacy to you when it comes to your residence? Would sharing with other facilities be a deal breaker for you? These are some of the questions that'll guide this privacy section as people differ in their preferences. 

Houses offer a lot of privacy as you own all the facilities and often additional areas around the building. You may even fence your building to improve the privacy levels even further. 

Condos offer very little privacy since you have to share walkways, pools, garages, and other condo owners. However, if you don't mind having neighbours in your business, the reduced privacy in condos may not be a problem for you.

Community

Community is often associated with privacy; the more you have, the less community you can get. Certain residential building types are preferred if you're looking to build relationships with neighbours. Condos offer a lot of community living as you can interact with neighbours in the parking lot, swimming pool and walkways. 

With a house, on the other hand, the privacy you have limits the people you meet and keeps your neighbours at arm's length. This can also be good if you prefer to avoid people up in your business or you're a lone ranger who enjoys their space.

Rules and Regulations

With a house, there are no rules on how to use your property except laws from the government and good usage practices. You can set your own rules or have none; the choice is yours.

Regarding condos, HOAs rules and regulations are final and absolute, and you must abide by them or face fines and even charge in court. So much of your happiness lies in the management of the condos, as good management means the right rules are set and enforced to help you enjoy your condo. Bad management, on the other hand, will make your condo more enjoyable.

Maintenance

Keeping your building and its facilities in good condition is vital if you enjoy living on your property. Maintenance takes a lot of time and effort, and each residence type has its responsibilities. 

Condos owners have the least responsibilities since they do not have to maintain facilities they do not own, like the walkway, swimming pool and more. 

The HOA or condo board is in charge of keeping these places in good condition with the help of dues collected periodically from the condo owners. Therefore, you can easily travel without worrying about the maintenance of the property.

With Houses, the buck stops at your table since you do not share the property with anyone else. Instead, you must carry out routine maintenance on all the facilities you use or outsource its maintenance while you pay for it. Keeping track of all the facilities that require maintenance can take time and effort. 

Location

The location of your residence is a major factor to consider when buying, and generally, condos are smaller and usually situated in high-rise buildings in cities. If you work in the city, you'll want to live close by with people who also fancy urban living because it is trendy. You may require help searching for the right condos in your chosen location. While houses can be found in cities, due to their size and lawn area, it is more common in suburban areas.

Which Should You Choose?

After considering the two residential building types and their differences, it is time to decide. You don't need to get all worked up. We've simplified your decision-making process by mentioning the different categories of people best suited to each residential building type.

Choose a House if

A house will better suit you if you love privacy and cannot stand nosy neighbours. You'll also find houses better if you have a larger family that requires a lot of space since condos are typically smaller. 

Finally, people looking to resell may be better suited to getting a house as they are easier to sell and generally have a better resale value.

Choose a Condo if

First-time buyers with a limited budget will find the condo cheaper and easier to purchase than a house. Small families will also be okay with the reduced space in the condo, and people who want to reduce the stress of maintaining the property, including frequent travellers. 

Summary

When considering buying a residential building, whether as a first-time homeowner or not, two of the most popular types will always be on your mind. This guide has dissected the long-standing confusion between condos and houses with its clear differentiation. 

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