So, you're looking at South Bend homes for sale, and you see many different types of properties with different square footage and features. Should you buy a house? Or should you buy a condo? Each has its benefits and drawbacks. One has a pool and is close to downtown. The other has a fenced-in yard and is in the suburbs. Since homeownership and condo living are two different experiences, what you decide to buy will come down to your needs, preferences, and overall financial picture.
How Are Condos and Houses Different?
A condominium is a private residential unit within a larger building or complex. Condos are more like apartments, so they're a denser form of housing. Condo owners have full control over what happens inside their home, but the exterior of the building and common areas are owned and maintained by a condo board or homeowners association (HOA). Condos are usually found in more urban areas and are very popular with investors, downsizers, and first-time buyers.
A house is what you might imagine on a suburban street. It is a free-standing residence with outer walls that are not connected to other residential structures. A house usually has its own lot, and the house owner also owns the land the house sits on and other structures on it.
Choosing Between a Condo and a House: Factors to Consider
A condo might be a good choice if you like the sense of community that comes with interacting with your neighbors in the common areas. You'll be seeing your neighbors at the swimming pool areas, HOA meetings, shared parking lot, communal mailroom, and clubhouse. This can be great if you're a social person, and the community is well-managed. Having a lot of privacy is possible in a house, where you don't share walls with noisy or nosy neighbors.
Owning a detached house entails having some land and personal outdoor space not included with condo ownership. With a large yard, you can play with your children or pets, host backyard parties, create a garden, or have an outdoor space, such as a shed or detached garage. And don't forget the advantage of having a private, fenced-in backyard.
If you want to live in the heart of the city and within walking distance to restaurants, entertainment, shopping centers, and other places of interest, a condo will be an attractive choice. Because condos are smaller and densely packed, they are usually located in urban areas and closer to amenities. Condo owners also have shorter commutes than homeowners located farther from metro centers.
When you own a house, you're responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the home and land. Depending on how handy you are and how much you enjoy tackling maintenance projects, this can be a benefit or drawback. Condo owners, on the other hand, don't have to worry about yardwork and repairs because everything is taken care of by the HOA. No waiting for someone to provide landscaping services or calling different contractors to get quotes for roof cleaning.
- HOA Obligations
Many condo communities are governed by strict HOA rules, but you may not agree with all of them. HOA rules range from what kind of pets you can have (if allowed) to how you can decorate the outside of your unit. Condo ownership may not be a great option for fiercely independent owners who don't want to be told what they can and can't do to their property. Communities with single-family homes tend to be more lenient, especially when they're not governed by HOAs.
Most condo complexes feature luxury amenities such as tennis courts, gyms, or swimming pools that lack in many single-family homes. However, condo owners pay for the maintenance and use of the amenities through their HOA fees. This can be a convenient perk if you use the amenities, but if even if you don't, you'll still have to pay for them.
Homeownership can be a rewarding investment as long as you do your research and make the right decision based on the perks and drawbacks of the type of home you're buying. Our real estate agents can help you find the home that fits your lifestyle. Contact us today!