Should You Buy a House or a Condo?

If you’re moving to a new city, you’ll likely face a critical decision: Should your new home be a single-family house or a condo? With rates on average mortgage loans trending near all-time lows, this is certainly the time to buy any property.

House or Condo?

Here’s a handy, five-step guide to help you make the home vs. condo decision before you move:

  1. Location: First and foremost, you must decide where you want to live. From there, find out about the condo and single-family house options in the area. If you want to be in the heart of the city, condos will be more prevalent. However, for the same price, you could potentially find a single-family home just a short commute away. Check out the realtor.com® Find a Neighborhood tool to start your search.
  2. Privacy:  Think about how much privacy you would like. Having complete privacy is possible in a single-family house, while condo living means neighbors will be quite close. Condos may not offer private outdoor space.  
  3. Responsibility: When it comes to decisions affecting your home, do you feel comfortable involving neighbors? Many condo communities have strict rules about everything from paint choices to the hours when you can take out your trash cans. Single-family home communities tend to be more lenient, unless the community has a home owners’ association (HOA).
  4. Maintenance: Many condos include maintenance fees that cover landscaping and even exterior maintenance on the unit. With a home, the home owner will have to take care of any maintenance. Many HOA communities do take care of exteriors, but specifics vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.
  5. Budget: How much do you want to spend on the property? Condos are usually more affordable than a house, even with the housing market in flux. Give this point considerable thought. The last thing you want is to overextend financially. Try using the realtor.com Home Affordability Calculator to help pinpoint a budget.

This article was originally published on Realtor.com. To see the original article, click here.

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