In 2017, more than 43 million American households rented their homes. With rent prices on the rise and housing shortages making rentals scarce, the sooner you can make the leap to homeownership, the better.
While most people looking for a home of their own are looking for a standalone house, it’s not the only option out there. In fact, buying a condo can be a better choice for most first-time buyers.
If you’re on the fence and struggling to decide between condo ownership and homeownership, don’t panic. Here are a few great reasons to buy a condo rather than a standalone house.
- You’re Responsible for Fewer Maintenance Issues
When you buy a condo, the only maintenance you’re required to take care of is inside your unit. The exterior of the building, the roof, the landscaping, and any other general upkeep is the responsibility of the condo manager.
This means your ongoing maintenance costs will be much lower than they would be if you bought a stand-alone house. Over the course of the year, you’ll end up saving hundreds of dollars on maintenance costs alone.
Keep in mind that all condo owners may have to cover a portion of some complex-wide maintenance tasks. These could include roof replacements or facility upgrades. However, the condo association dues you pay each month should be enough to cover most of those expenses.
Just make sure to stay on top of reporting exterior maintenance issues as they happen. This way, you’ll be able to get the most out of your condo ownership experience and won’t feel that the property looks run down.
- Condos Give You Access to Community Amenities
When you buy a stand-alone house, you’re only able to access the amenities you have on your property. If you want to access a pool or hot tub and don’t have one at your house, you’ll have to pay extra to use a public version. If you want to go to a gym, you’ll have to pay for a gym membership.
Many condo complexes have those amenities right on-site. As long as you’re paying your condo association dues, you’ll be able to access those amenities anytime you want. Even better, you’ll avoid having to travel too far from home to access those features as they’re in your complex.
When you’re looking to buy a condo, think about the types of amenities you want access to. Try to search for complexes that offer those amenities.
- Prices Are Typically Cheaper Than Traditional Homes
Believe it or not, buying a condo often costs less than buying a traditional stand-alone house. This doesn’t mean the units are lower quality than comparable houses. They’re just more affordable.
As a buyer, this means you’ll be able to get more for your money when you choose to invest in condo ownership instead of homeownership. This is largely because condos are cheaper and easier for contractors to build.
The developers then pass those cost savings onto you when you buy a unit.
There are trade-offs that you’ll need to keep in mind. You may have shared walls or people living above or below you. However, as long as you’re okay with having neighbors close by, you’ll often be able to get a bigger, nicer, and more upscale condo for less than you’d spend on a modest house.
- Condo Ownership Comes With Stronger Security
When you’re living in a stand-alone house, security can be a challenge. You’re responsible for everything from installing security systems to keeping an eye on who is coming and going from your property.
Many condo complexes, on the other hand, have enhanced security measures in place to keep your unit safe whether you’re home or away.
Your neighbors will always be able to tell if something is amiss with your unit and can keep an eye on things while you’re gone. Most condos with enclosed lobbies offer controlled access to the building, further protecting your home from unwanted visitors.
This makes it easy to keep your home safe at all times without having to invest in a monitored security system.
- You’ll Save on Insurance Costs
Whether you buy a stand-alone home or a condo, you’ll need to invest in quality insurance coverage to protect your investment. That insurance policy helps pay for repairs and replacement due to acts of vandalism, storm damage, fires, and any other qualifying event or disaster.
Unfortunately, homeowner’s insurance often costs more each month. This is because the policy has to cover the full cost of rebuilding the property if it gets destroyed.
Condominium insurance is significantly cheaper. The policy only has to protect the interior of your unit and your belongings you keep inside.
The complex owner is responsible for providing insurance to cover the outside of the building and all common areas. That means you’ll save money on your insurance policy as long as you’re in your unit.
- You’ll Be Able to Buy in Your Ideal Location
Some parts of town are always going to be more in-demand and more expensive than others. If you’re looking for a house in those areas, you may find that the prices are far too high for your budget.
Since condominiums are typically cheaper, you’ll end up being able to get into your ideal location without having to increase your budget significantly. If you’re struggling to qualify for a mortgage or can’t find a house in your price range, looking at condos may make it possible for you to live where you want to live.
Should You Buy a Condo?
Ultimately, making the decision to buy a condo or a house is a matter of personal preference. However, there are a few key benefits of buying a condo that make them a better choice for many would-be homeowners.
Think about what you’re looking for and create a detailed list of the features and amenities you need in your new home. Then, look at your budget closely.
If homes in your preferred area with those amenities are too expensive, buying a condo will be a better choice.
Looking for more tips and tricks to help you navigate the house-hunting process with ease? Check out our latest posts.