Condo vs. Single-Family – What’s Right for You?

Ann & Jeanie
Ann & Jeanie
Published on September 2, 2017

Ready to purchase your next home? If you’re an empty nester or retiring you may be thinking of purchasing a smaller house or even a condo or townhouse for less upkeep and house to manage. Or maybe you’re a millennial or first-time homebuyer that doesn’t need a lot of space but wants to stop throwing away money in rent.

Condos or townhomes and single-family properties can offer some significant differences, so it’s important to consider all the pros and cons when making your purchasing decision.

Overall Expense

 Usually condos are a slightly less expensive alternative to standalone single-family homes. This will vary depending on your city and they type of property you’re after, but first-time homebuyers or retirees can typically get a little more bang for their buck with a townhome.

Ease of Resale

 Part of having a condo or townhome is knowing that your unit is going to be very similar to that of your neighbor’s. Sometimes this can be a challenge when it comes to resale. What really sets your condo apart from the others in the community?

Single-family homes in older and more established neighborhoods where homes are quite different and often remodeled can offer an easier resale.

If you do decide to purchase a townhome, think about doing some updates or remodeling to set your unit apart from the others in the community. You could also pick a unit with more desirable features like an end unit with extra windows or a 3-bedroom condo.

Lots of Maintenance or Living Easy?

 If you’ve owned a single-family home in the past you know that sometimes it comes with blood, sweat and tears. Weekends mowing the lawn, expensive maintenance, repainting or new roofs, etc.

If you purchase a townhome or condo you won’t be worried about who has to clean out the gutters or mulch the flower beds. Townhome and condo living can offer peace of mind for people that live alone, like to vacation or just prefer to spend their Sundays in front of Netflix instead of on the riding mower.

Fees and Extra Costs

 The only downside to having all your building maintenance taken care of through a condo or townhome association is the added association fees. These fees can mean anywhere from $100 – $1,000 per month out of your pocket. It’s important to do your homework if you do decide on a townhome. Sometimes these fees reasonably replace the expenses that would come with maintenance of a single-family home, while other times they can seem excessive and unwarranted; however, a single-family home may still come with some community or amenity fees.

Level of Privacy

 Depending on your preferences, the privacy that comes with a single-family home may be worth the extra upkeep. Are you okay having neighborhoods above and below you? Do you like to do yoga in your backyard and worry about neighbors peeking in? Whatever it is, you have to consider the differences in privacy between a single-family home and a condo.

There are pros and cons for every home-buying decision and it’s all about weighing out the options based on your own “deal breakers.” Ann and Jeanie can help walk you through all your options!


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