Published on January 7th, 2015 | by Balanced Family
First Home Frustrations Condos vs Houses
Upon reaching the opportunity to purchase their first home, many people are suddenly expected to take a side in the never ending debate of condos vs homes. For most people, the choice to live in a condo or a house is simply a matter of personal preference. For others, one type of domicile may fit the unique needs of their lifestyle better than the others.
A condominium consists of a group of units, each with its own individual owner, connected by common, shared spaces that are owned by a corporation, or as a trust between each unit’s owner. Most condos are structured similarly to apartment buildings, with each apartment the property of its specific owner. Other types of condos may be detached, where the homeowners have no responsibility for the maintenance of yards and dwelling exteriors, or “site condominiums,” where they may have control over the exterior of their unit. Often, the common spaces, such as yards, sidewalks, hallways, and elevators are maintained by a Home Owners Association, or HOA, often through a board of directors elected by the membership. The HOA often determines the cost to each homeowner for maintaining the common area, and can collect money for that purpose.
Many people prefer to live in a condo because they are not responsible for the exterior of their home. Things like mowing the lawn and shoveling snow are handled by the HOA, and so it is far more convenient to live in a condo. Due to close proximity, condo residents have more opportunity to connect with their neighbors, and some HOAs hold community events specifically for the residents to mingle. Certain condos even have amenities for residents, such as swimming pools and gyms, which, when looked for at traditional houses, may only be found in luxury homes.
On the other side of the condos vs homes debate are people who prefer to live in houses. An owner of a traditional house does not just own the structure, but the land beneath it as well. Houses offer much more freedom with regards to decorations and renovations, as the owner does not need to petition the HOA to allow any changes to the structure. Unfortunately, houses are also a greater responsibility with regards to lawn care, snow removal, and simple repairs. The extra space that comes with traditional housing is great for raising families, exercising pets, and storing belongings. Unfortunately, extra space indoors can also mean higher utility bills.
The home buying process itself is very similar between traditional homes and condos. In both instances, working with real estate agents will make the process go as smoothly as possible. Once you have found the house or condo that you like, it’s as simple as putting in an offer, obtaining an inspection, and filling out the legal paperwork.
The most important thing to remember when considering condos vs homes, is that it is not a matter of one style of living being better than the other. You must consider which situation will best fit your needs, and that of your family. For more, read this link.