Deciding between buying a condo or a house is a big decision, especially when it involves your family. Houses provide stability and typically offer backyards and large kitchens for growing families, while condos are associated with smaller, more efficient spaces and proximity to shopping and nightlife.
If you are trying to choose between buying a condo or a house, a few factors can help you decide which option suits your family more. These questions encourage you to consider aspects such as available space, long-term plans, cost, and property upkeep.
House or Condo?
Before deciding between a house and a condo, it is helpful to understand what each type of living accommodation is and the fundamental differences between them.
A house is a building on a plot of land that is typically meant for a single-family unit. When you buy a house, you also own the land it occupies, which typically includes a small front and back yard. Most people take out a mortgage loan to pay for the property and pay off the loan in monthly payments over 20-30 years. At the end of that time, they own the building and property outright. Often, houses are long-term investments where a family stays for several years and only moves if circumstances make it necessary.
A condo, short for a condominium, is a piece of property inside a building with several other units. These units are individually owned but are surrounded by common areas used by all of the residents. Condos range in size but are typically smaller than houses and do not come with individual land lots. When you buy a condo, you own the unit and may live there or rent it out. You typically do not own anything more than what is inside the walls of your unit, meaning the hallways, stairways, and other accommodations are communal properties. Often, those who are downsizing opt for a condominium because it is conveniently located, and they do not have to perform the same upkeep required of homeowners.
Question to Ask Yourself
When deciding on the best option for you and your family, it is essential to ask yourself the following questions to pinpoint whether a house or condo is the right choice. Look at each question and consider the facts that inform your answer.
What Space Does Your Family Need?
Realistically, how much space does your family require? Houses are lovely for families with several members and those with small children. Homes often come with backyard areas for kids and pets and multiple rooms inside for comfortable living arrangements. Condos range in size, but they are typically built with one to three rooms.
This means that a larger family would not have as much space in a condominium unit as in a house. If your family is already large, you have small children, or you plan to grow your family in the coming years, a house is probably better suited to your needs. If your children are almost grown or leaving the nest soon, a condo may be a good choice for the future.
What Are Your Long-Term Plans?
Your long-term financial plans affect your decision to buy a house or condo. Both are good investments for the long-term, but for different reasons. A condo is an excellent way to get into the real estate investment scene and can provide income as a rental property. If your long-term plans include living in multiple locations or owning rental units, a condo is a good idea.
A house is also an excellent financial investment in most cases. When you buy a house, its value appreciates, which means you gain equity over time. If you decide to sell the house years down the line, you can profit in the right market. Also, a house is suitable for long-term plans that don’t center around finances. If you and your family plan to stay in one location long-term, then a home is a great idea. Work with a knowledgeable South Florida real estate agent to pick a house or condo that fits your long-term plans.
What is Your Budget?
Your budget is probably the deciding factor for your choice between buying a condo or a house. Houses typically cost more than condominiums because they come with a large living structure and land. Buying a house includes many expenses above the listing price that must be factored into the total cost. Condominiums often include association fees and fees for security measures for the community. It is essential to ask yourself what your budget is to determine which property you can afford.
What Kind of Upkeep Are You Prepared For?
Another critical question to ask is what type of maintenance responsibilities you are willing to deal with. In a condo, you are generally not responsible for fixing problems that arise with plumbing, heating, electric, roofing, or other home-owning maintenance issues. If you are looking forward to a quiet retirement or simply don’t want to put in the time, effort, and money to take care of these problems independently, a condo is a good idea. However, if you don’t mind taking on these responsibilities and the other aspects of homeownership work for you, buying a house is a good option.
What Perks Are You Looking For?
One final fun question to ask yourself is what perks you are looking for. With a condo, you are usually close to other people and fashionable downtown shopping areas. You may have a community pool and lounging area and be able to develop friendships with other residents.
With a house, you may not have access to the flashy perks of living in a condo; however, you and your family can have your own space and make significant changes to your property. Your decision will be based on the type of living environment you prefer and the location that works for you.
Let a Real Estate Agent Help
Work with an experienced real estate agent to help you decide between buying a condo or a house. Bryan Gold, a realtor with the Abode Group in South Florida, is the perfect agent to work with when choosing a new home for you and your family. Bryan is happy to help you look at different property options to make the best decision for your significant purchase. Contact Bryan today at (954) 464-3459 or firstname.lastname@example.org to begin your journey to buying a home or condo in South Florida.