Single family vs. condominium living is a common debate for many buyers. Each provides unique benefits. Buyers naturally compare the separate price ranges, but the alternative that is better for you depends on your lifestyle and preferences. The following are some factors for comparing single family vs. condominium living.
Control Over Exterior Changes
The option to perform renovations is an important distinction between single family vs. condominium living. With condominiums, there are guidelines on what you can and cannot do to your property. In many condominiums, you may renovate the interior space of your unit as long as it does not alter load bearing components. Exterior elements are normally maintained by the governing association. With single families, you may alter any element of the interior or exterior of your home. You have complete control (restricted only by applicable building codes or HOA covenants and restrictions).
Given the vicinity to other units and the amenities, single family vs. condominium living can be somewhat different. With condominiums, you are more likely to interact with neighbors (while using community amenities). With single family homes, your property is separated from your neighbors, so meeting neighbors will require deliberate effort. However, some single family properties within subdivisions might also provide easy interactions if they provide common amenities.
Amount of Privacy
Although detached condominiums are sometimes an option, condominiums are generally attached to one another. Thus, you often share walls or floors as well as other boundaries. If independence and privacy are a must, then single families are a better option.
Most condominiums have a monthly fee to cover building maintenance and shared amenities. So, you would not have to perform certain tasks as a condominium unit owner. The monthly fee can be quite high, and will need to be factored into your loan preapproval since it raises your monthly payment. However, homeowner's insurance may only require a "contents insurance" with condos, thus lowering your monthly payment there. With single family homes, you must complete all of the maintenance, interior and exterior. You often don't have as high of an association fee, if any at all. If you live a busy life, then a condo could be a good match.
Comparing Single Family Vs. Condominium Living
There actually is no good answer to whether single family vs. condominium living is better. Both offer different benefits. Ultimately, it depends on your individual preferences. Do you prefer to complete less maintenance? Do you want extra privacy? Do you like to socialize with others? How much power do you need for home renovations? By reviewing these questions and knowing how it applies to single family vs. condominium living, you can make an informed decision.