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Should I Buy a House or a Condo

It’s time to own! This is a huge decision, but it’s so exciting to have a place of your own. Not to mention the potential to build equity in your investment. There’s one more big decision to be made — what do you buy? Let’s look at some of the differences between a condo and a house.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Condo

A condo or a condominium typically consists of several units that are separately owned but share common areas. It’s often an affordable way to own your space with less worry and upkeep. A look at the pros and cons of owning a condo gives us deeper insight.

Pro — very affordable. Of course the costs vary according to location and amenities, but in most situations a condo is less expensive than a similar sized house in the same area. It can also mean access to certain areas, like popular urban areas and vacation spots, where home buying is cost-prohibitive or there simply aren’t any single family homes available.

Pro — low maintenance living. Most condos take care of everything from the walls out. This means you’re not responsible for siding and roof repairs, mowing the lawn, landscaping or removing snow.

Pro — sense of community. You and your neighbors are in it together — and this can be a great thing! Community based events, team sports, exercise facilities and shared greenspace introduces you to your neighbors and future friends.

Con — association dues. Maintaining shared spaces and a condo association does have its costs and you’ll have to pay them. Monthly fees and special assessments can add up, especially if you’re not taking advantage of the amenities.

Con — shared walls. Most condos consist of a large structure with several units. This means that you’ll be sharing walls and sometimes ceilings and floors with neighbors.

Con — association rules. If you’re a free spirit, the idea of rules might be a bit of a bummer. Typically the rules are designed to benefit the majority, but they can sometimes feel restrictive.

Pros and Cons of Homeownership

Most homes are free-standing buildings surrounded by some privately owned property. Typically the homeowner is entirely responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their own space, but is able to use it as they wish. Let’s get some insight into the pros and cons of owning a house.

Pro — it’s all yours. There’s nothing quite like the pride of ownership. It doesn’t matter which part of your home means the most to you, you now get to develop it and show it off to guests.

Pro — it’s an investment. The money you put into your home should come back to you as equity in the long run. Whether you’re just paying off a mortgage or putting a lot of effort into upgrading the property — in the end you should get something back for your investment.

Pro — privacy. A home gives you your own space with a buffer from the noise, smells and complaints of shared-wall neighbors.

Con — the upkeep. While you may love the idea of doing what you want with the space, you’re also responsible for all of the upkeep. From simple mowing to more major issues like a plumbing problems or storm damage, it’s all on you. Financial experts recommend having an emergency fund of 3-6 months’ income as a safety net for these situations.

Con — the expense. Buying a home is pretty expensive with closing costs, down payments, moving expenses, maintenance, taxes and more.

Con — permanency. With a home you’re more tied to the area and lose some flexibility. A quick move is difficult and selling a home can be stressful.

Whether you’ve decided on the convenience of a condo or you’d prefer the commitment and pride of homeownership, your American Family Insurance agent will help you protect this dream. Finding the right homeowners insurance coverage gives you peace of mind and a safety net for those unexpected events.


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Related Topics: At Home , Owning A Home , Home Insurance