Buy a Condo or Home ? for part time snowbirds pros and cons for both?

Asked by Peter, New York, NY Sat Dec 8, 2007

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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Sat Dec 8, 2007
Hi, I am a Broker in both NJ and Florida and have had this question posed to me many times. i generally advise buyers to seriously consider buying where there is a good Homeowners Association that will tend to the caretaking of the exterior and general areas. Not all HOA are well run. HOA fees will with more amentiies...i.e. pool, clubhouse, etc. Factor in these expenses in relationship to your intended usage. Whether it is a condo or home? HOA can take care of both. You can also find ranch style layouts of condos that feel like a home, vs. a townhouse. Much of that will simply come down to personal preference. Look carefully at HOA financials and pay particular attention to insurance rates, hurricane insurance, what it does or does not cover, and reserves.
Good Luck
2 votes
Myke Atwater, Agent, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Sat Dec 8, 2007
For Snowbird usage, I would definitely recommend a condo/townhome where the association takes care of the exterior of the home. If you purchase the right one, especially if it has a management plan, you can also optimize its potential financially by having it rented short term during the peak vacation season, which is the time when you would not be using it as a snowbird. A home, on the other hand, requires more exterior upkeep, and is not a great choice if you want to offset some of your expenses. Either one could work for you, depending on your personal prefernces, of course.
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1 vote
Jan Fanstill, , Port Charlotte, FL
Wed Aug 12, 2009

Because of the high percentage of part time residents in our area, many of the newer communities offer a maintenancefree life style in homes, villas, twin villas as well as in a traditional condo. They are typcially gated communities which can be a plus when pricing homeowner's insurance policies for your second home in Florida. I would recommend you take a look at those types of communities that way you can still have your choice of the home style you prefer and have the care free lifestyle you are looking for!
0 votes
Shannon Moore…, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Thu Jun 26, 2008
Hi Peter,

I would recommend a secure neighborhood, either a condo or a home in a gated community. If you are not going to be here for some of the year this seems to make the most sense. You need to keep in mind that if you do buy a condo or home in a gated community there are going to be association dues.
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat May 10, 2008

As realtors we can recommend but our personal preferences will enter into the picture.....The bottom line is that you need to evaluate your own needs and do what's best for you.

In our location, there is very little difference between being an absentee owner for single family homes or condos. We are formerly from New York state and purchased a single family home in 1997 and didn't move here full time until 2004. There were no problems and the property was as well cared for as a condo would have been . And we had the benefit of more space, a garage, a private yard, etc. etc.

If you are still actively looking, we would be happy to provide information for you.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
Century 21 Almar and Associatea
Venice, Fl 34285
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