Should My First Home Be a House or Condo?
Looking buy your first home? We're excited for you! We're sure that you have a lot of questions too, beginning with, "should my first home be a traditional house or a condo?"
That's an excellent question and one that our office has heard many times from other first-time home buyers just like you.
This article will help you understand the pros and cons of purchasing a house or condo as your first home. It'll help you weigh the difference so that you can feel good about your decision.
Remember, shopping for a home begins with applying for a mortgage! Get the process started now, and when you see your home or condo of your dreams, you'll be ready to purchase.
Deciding Between a House or Condo for Your First Home
Pros of a Condo
If you enjoy a more "urban" lifestyle, then a condo may be the right home for you. Condos are often located in urban areas, meaning they are within walking distance to shopping, dining, coffee shops, entertainment, and night-life. Some condo complexes also have amenities, such as pools, recreational centers, and gyms.
If you have an active lifestyle or prefer a low maintenance home, then a condo is the perfect place to call home.
Association fees, not included in your mortgage payment, cover the exterior maintenance of the condo, including many of the more expensive parts of the structure. The only thing you'll have to upkeep will be the inside!
Condos are generally less expensive than houses too, which is why they are a popular choice as a starter home.
Cons of a Condo
The best thing about condos can also be the biggest con --the association fees. Association fees are separate from your monthly mortgage payment and will need to be paid as long as you own the condo. In other words, association fees will never be paid down or paid off, like a mortgage can.
These fees are used for maintaining the building and upkeeping the amenities. The fee amount varies for each complex and may increase if extra maintenance is required.
Another disadvantage of owning a condo is that you share decision-making with the other homeowners. Although the sense of community with condo living is nice, some buyers feel the rules of community living are too restrictive.
Pros of a House
One of the main advantages of buying a house is that you can make changes and upgrades to your property without the consent of the community. Want to paint the exterior? Add a porch? Add a jacuzzi tub to the master bath? It's up to you! You won't need to ask the association for permission because you are the master of your domain.
Another advantage is that you'll have an outdoor space for gardening, entertaining, the kids to play in, and pets to enjoy. Houses often have more living and storage space making it ideal for families. Also, you'll have more privacy since you won't share any building walls with your neighbors.
Cons of a House
Owning a house has some drawbacks, too. For example, all repairs, both indoors and out, will be your responsibility. Broken pipes, overgrown trees, a weak foundation --all of it would be your responsibility to repair.Also, if you plan on doing the repairs yourself, you need to purchase the equipment and tools to do the work.
However, even with these disadvantages, there is a silver lining. All the improvements that you make to the house will likely increase the resale value!
If you have your heart set on a particular neighborhood, but the price of owning a house in the area is too high, look into purchasing a condo instead! However, if you are planning on staying in your first home for the long run, then it may be worth spending a little more to buy a house rather than a condo.
Investing in your first home, whether a condo or house, is one of the most exciting and important decisions you will make in your life --and we can help! We are the experts in first time home loans in our community, and know what it takes to get you approved for a home loan fast!