Facing the decision between the house of your dreams or just the perfect condo isn’t exactly like being caught between a rock and hard place (you win either way), but it’s a very difficult decision nonetheless. Here are some of the things you should consider when debating between buying a luxury condo and a house.
It’s important to consider each side of the coin for either choice:
Cons for Condos, Pros for Houses:
Space. This is probably the most obvious drawback of buying a condo versus buying a house. Condos, no matter how luxurious, often require residents to live very close to their neighbors and in less space overall. Although in a house you may also have to deal with over the fence conversations and nosey neighbors, condominiums are usually much more dense and give residents less space and privacy from their neighbors. Plus, in a house, residents often have more private outdoor space, such as with a deck, patio or yard.
Each one is different. Unlike with a condo, each home is generally unique with its own builder and special attributes. This variety also leads to a variety in resale value. For example, on a neighborhood block, houses prices can vary hundreds of thousands of dollars from each other based on upgrades, elevations, interior and exterior design. With condos, because they all similar, the owner of a condo is subject to a resale value based on neighbors. For example, if one owner of a condominium has a hard time financially and sells their condo for an incredibly low price, it automatically devalues the other condos in the complex. Similarly, an upgraded kitchen in one condo doesn’t make the value skyrocket over another condo, even though these forms of upgrades do affect the resale values of a house.
Condo Board Rules. Condo boards can be incredibly restrictive. For the most part, with a house, owners can drive whatever car they want, have whatever pets they want, and stay up as late as they want. However, with a condo, the rules of the HOA can be incredibly restrictive and force residents to alter their lifestyle by imposing certain restrictions that many feel to be overly demanding.
Cons for Houses, Pros for Condos
Maintenance. If there is one thing that homeowners can typically agree on it’s the struggle to maintain a house. The best part about owning a condo is that the maintenance is typically taken care of for you. This gives you the freedom to live a lock-and-leave lifestyle without having to worry about mowing the lawn or fixing the roof.
New Upgrades. Because of the nature of condos, many of them are newer and more recently upgraded than houses, which could be over 100 years old. Especially with luxury condos, the quartz counter tops and top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances were probably recently installed. Plus, because they are constantly being built, rebuilt and maintained, moving into a condo is as close to moving into a brand-new house as you can get without moving into a brand-new house.
Resort-Style Amenities. Sure, a house may have a private patio, but many condos offer amenities for their residents like swimming pools, gyms, bike rentals, BBQ areas, or jogging trails with little to no extra upkeep on your part (see maintenance). For those looking to live like they’re on vacation, a luxury condo loaded with amenities is definitely a real consideration.
These are some things you’d want to consider, but there probably is no right or wrong answer. Of course, if you’re really stuck, you could just do this.