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Buying a House vs. Buying a Condo

What are the points to consider when deciding whether to buy a home or buy a condo? Let us break it down for you:

The legal difference:  Homeowners purchase the house and the land underneath, whereas condo ownership includes only the living space inside of the condo, typically from the drywall in, and a portion of the common area of the condo building.

 Now that that’s out of the way, the lifestyle you desire and the price you can afford are going to help us determine which is the more suitable choice for you.

Condo Advantages

 Condos are usually located in urban areas and within walking distance to shops and restaurants. Walkability=winning. 

 Some condos have resort-like amenities, such as pools and fitness centers, that would be cost-prohibitive in a house. Staycation!

– Condos offer convenience and a low-maintenance lifestyle. Association fees cover the exterior and many of the expensive components of the structure, so owner maintenance is limited to the interior of dwelling.

 Between common areas, elevator rides, the mail room, and tan team practice at the pool there is more sense of community and you have more opportunities to hang with your neighbors. 

– Utility and insurance expenses are lower than they are in a home. Condo owners typically need an HO-6 insurance policy which is supplemental coverage for the contents of the home which has run in the neighborhood of $500-$1K/year for the last few condos we’ve sold. 


Condo Cons

 Association fees, which are collected outside of the monthly mortgage payment and used toward building maintenance and amenities. The fees can be expensive and increase when extra money for maintenance is needed.

 All homeowners share in the decision-making process in regards to the condo building. Getting everyone in agreement can be like nailing Jello to a tree.

 There are likely going to be owner rules and restrictions that you won’t like or agree with, and well…we prescribe meditation in this case.

 Typically your house-neighbor complaints have to do with what their house or yard looks like; with a condo you are more subject to sounds and smells you might find displeasing too – like loud TVs and tiny people who sound like a herd of elephants walking around, and tuna fish casseroles.


House Advantages

 You have control over the property to remodel or make changes without the consent of others unless there are neighborhood restrictions set forth by a HOA or BAR. 

 Generally, you have more indoor and outdoor space, which is more conducive to accommodating families, children and pets.

 Houses typically feature more storage space in closets, the attic, and outbuildings like sheds or garages.

 Without neighbors on the other side of the wall, houses offer more privacy so nude sunbathing is an option, if that’s what you’re into.


House Cons

 Homeowners are completely responsible for all maintenance inside and outside of the property, including care and upkeep of the yard and trees. So if you don’t love mowing the lawn – betta get you a landscaper on the speed dial. 

– When purchasing a house, you must also consider buying extra equipment and tools for maintenance so you’ll be at Lowe’s on the reg those first few weeks!

– Even though any improvements will likely increase the home’s resale value, they require an investment of time and money. Roof needs to be replaced? Got $20K saved up?

 Utility bills are generally higher, because houses have more space than condos.

– Insurance expenses can be hefty here in the Lowcountry. In a condo, the expense is spread out amongst all owners resulting in a cost savings especially for flood insurance. In a home, it’s all you!

Your badass Realtor can help you sort through weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each and, if you have the opportunity, talk to a few of the residents of the condominium or neighborhood, they can be a valuable resource in helping you make the right move.

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