Home Buying in Millbrae>Question Details

Homebuyer, Home Buyer in Millbrae, CA

Do you recommend buying a condo or a home?

Asked by Homebuyer, Millbrae, CA Thu Sep 8, 2011

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With a home, you will have Land, Yardwork, Exterior Maintenance, Room, Double Garage (probably), less Security (maybe), normal neighbors.

With a Condo, you will have no land, No Exterior Maintenance, Little or No Yardwork, Single Garage, (probably), Security, (some), closer Neighbors, and an HOA.

The HOA could be an Ally, or it could be a source of exasperation.
I am not a fan of HOA's.

I would really suggest, before you buy a Condo; go out there and walk around, meet some of your new neighbors (some of which may be your HOA Board Members) and find out if you are comfortable with them.

You can choose your Family, but you're stuck with your HOA.

Good luck and may God bless
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 8, 2011
Benefits of a house:
- a better overall investment, will appreciate more
-more space, privacy
-no HOA (hoa's can be notoriously dysfunctional)

Benefits of a condo:
-many times you can get a much better *location* than you can with a house, b/c houses are far more expensive in the really prime locations (close to beaches, best schools, work, etc...) - this can mean you spend a lot less on gas and live in a walk-able neighborhood you love with a condo. With a house you may be way out in the burbs
-more security (condos are behind locked gates usually and you are among many units and possibly on a 2nd or higher floor so harder for thieves to break in)
-water bill, exterior, roof, landscape is all taken care of by HOA...less headache for you
-condos right now are much more depressed in prices b/c financing on condos is bad, many times back to 2001 or earlier prices where houses are not nearly as depressed in price
-lower monthly payment than a house b/c price is so much less than a house
-often times condos take much less cost to upgrade and rehab than a house
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 28, 2012
Hb,
I am kinda rabid when it comes to Condos; please allow for that:
I have had many run-ins with HOA, both as a tenant and as a Realtor.
I am sure that there are some good HOAs out there; I just haven't found them.
Too many items on the CCRs are restrictive and ridiculous.
Neighbors can be too close.
Parking is a problem.
Pets
ReSelling can be difficult
Even holding a Garage Sales can be impossible.
How about Parties or Overnight guests.

Just go into it with your eyes wide open.
Go visit and talk to your prospective neighbors

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 27, 2012
Definitely buy a HOME. Is my answer too short? Please contact me directly for further details.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 27, 2012
If you have assessed your needs and can go either way, while budget allows, then a single home would be the better option. In today's economic conditions, we're seeing more people with financial hardship. If they can't pay their mortgage, they won't be able to pay their HOA fees. Eventually that will hurt other owners in the complex and how difficult it is to sell units there as well as resale value.

Talk to your mortgage professional to see the difference in paying the HOA fee or applying that amount to the mortgage to see how much more you can borrow.

Which condo complex are you considering in Millbrae?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 9, 2011
Thank you for the responses. My major concern is: is more economical to buy a home? Will a home have better resale value in the end versus a condo? Should I consider a condo and pay monthly hoa fees rather than applying it to a home?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 8, 2011
To buy a condo, or a house, is really a matter of personal preferences, wants, needs, lifestyle. If purchasing a condo, do review the HOA's financials to assure it's financially sound; any money in reserve, operating expenses, etc.; as Ron already suggested below, do try to meet and chat, with some of your potential neighbors/residents...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 8, 2011
Your first step towards buying your new home will be to analyze your needs. No matter what are you looking for: House, Coop, Condo you need to determine exactly what you want your home to look like and the best community to fit your lifestyle.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 8, 2011
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