As always, an experienced Realtor can tell you what’s available in your area, and can find the features you’re looking for…but for those of you who want a better idea of whether home is a condo or a house…here’s a list of eleven items to consider (or debate) with your loved ones when deciding which kind of home to search for!
- Sharing. Condos are sometimes freestanding, but others share a wall, floor, or ceiling with neighbors. If this is the least pleasant part of apartment dwelling for you, consider a home or a freestanding condo. If, however, you love the idea of close neighbors, and are reassured at being one loud shout away from attention and assistance, there may be a condo calling your name!
- Fees. This one can be a neutral topic. If you only want to deal with a purchase price and no monthly fees, look for a house without a homeowners’ association. But those fees mean that some of the responsibilities have been placed elsewhere…so see #3 before you make up your mind.
- Chores and maintenance. If you hate yard work, shoveling snow, and poking around your attic trying to find that leak, then a condo would look pretty good. Most condo associations maintain the common areas, walkways, parking lots and outer buildings. You may still be responsible for the interior maintenance, though. Houses require homeowner participation in upkeep, and expenses can mount if you hire the chores out to lawn, snow, and garden contractors.
- Associations, rules, and responsibilities. Homeowners in HOAs and condo owners in associations have some of the same rights and responsibilities. Ask your Realtor to get a copy of those contracts for you to peruse before you make an offer.
- Amenities. A pool, tennis court, fitness center, party space…the expenses for these amenities can add up if you purchase them or memberships separately. Many condo communities offer one or all of them with the monthly fee. If you would use and enjoy them, it may make sense to purchase a condo. If none of them appeal, a house may be a better home option for you.
- Room. Although there are large condos and small houses, generally, a house or freestanding condo offers more storage space. If you are looking to downsize or to start small, a condo could offer everything you need. Storage in basements, attics, and garages is more commonly found in houses. The more room you need, the less likely a traditional condo will fit you.
- Gardening. If you love having your own yard, and truly adore caring for your flowers, vegetables and trees, then a condo would likely feel like a sacrifice instead of a joy. If you want to own your home, but dread chores, take a look at condos in your area.
- DIY. Would you rather pitch it than fix it? Do you live in fear of power tools? A house may be more than you’ve bargained for! Think about a condo. Home repairs are less expensive if you do at least the smaller jobs yourself. There are wonderful contractors out there who do a terrific job, but they are well paid for the job they do. If you watch home improvement shows dreaming of laying tile or building a custom fireplace mantel, there is a house out there just for you.
- Outdoor space. Love to eat outdoors, or dream of entertaining on your own deck? Either home may work for you. Many condos have patios, balconies, or small outdoor areas. Ask your Realtor about it. Of course, any home can have these amenities added, or may have the perfect outdoor living space just waiting for you.
- Value. Many people assume that condos are cheaper, don’t hold their value, and are harder to sell again. It all depends on the location, the community, and host of other factors. Talk to your Realtor about where the best condo values are near you…and ask questions about the issues that matter most to you. You may find that a condo is just what you’re looking for…or that a house would meet your needs the best. Ask an expert, ask The Columbus Team!
- Honesty. Last, but not least! TALK to your Realtor. Be honest about what HOME means to you. Think about what you love to do, what is important to you, and what you’ve dreamed of in a home.
The Columbus Team knows central Ohio…we can help you find the right home for you. Whatever size, shape, amenity, feature, or possibility matters to you, we’ll help you find the place that feels like HOME.