"What is confusing to many people is that "condos" come in all shapes and sizes, and that "condo" is a term that defines the type of ownership NOT the style. If buying a condo, make sure you read and understand the bylaws (rules and regulations).....and be prepared for the maintenace fee to increase over time.......also be prepared for occasional assessments when larger community repairs are undertaken. I had a $2000 roof assessment in my complex a few years ago so all new roofs could be intsalled. Some homeowners were shocked that they had to pay this, as they assumed paying their montly fee would always cover everything.
Not so! "
AND - You don't have to shovel the snow.
Most condo developments accross the board are down. but like anything else.. single famuily homes are down, townhouses are down. Prices are very good if this is the lifestyle that you choose and the market for condo / townhouses is wide open. I was seeing some very, very good prices on short sales and foreclosures in the condo market in my areea. Good time to buy one if this is your thing.
For me.. a single famui;y home is the way to go.
When purchasing a condo, it is crucial to evaluate the financial status of the association BEFORE you buy. FHA financing now requires minimums for Owner-Occupied ratios as well as the number of unit owners behind on their fees.
This isn't a plus or a minus, just one of the differences.
Many of the lenders out there are scared stiff of condos, as are a lot of the Private Mortgage Insurance companies. You most likely will have to put a larger downpayment for a condo.
Now besides the financing you may have less out of pocket costs for a condo depending on what the HOA covers. With a single family home (SFR) you have the heat, electrical, water, trash, internet, cable, etc. that you pay for in addition to your monthly PITI.
Senior Loan Officer
Spectra Home Mortgage
Huge difference........first of all condos and homes come in different styles, prices, locations etc.......condos generally have a condo fee associated with them that will take care of exterior maintenance. Homes have HOA fees that are attached to general upkeep of the neighborhood. Both have bylaws and or governing rules. It comes down to what your needs and wants are. Honestly, to get the best feel for the difference you need to view the difference in applications and the neighborhoods. Your lifestyle and where you plan to be in the next 5 to 10 years will help you determine what will work best for you. Chldren, schools, price, location will all be a factor in your decision. Find a fabulous realtor in the area and spend some time shopping.
If you have questions drop me an email - I am in Madson.
All my best, Donna Birschbach - The Birschbach Team
Actually, the above statement isn't necessarily true.
The "common areas" are the responsibility of the homeonwer's association.
Your bylaws will specify exactly what you, as the owner, are responsbile for, and what the association will take care of.
This varies GREATLY from complex to complex.
You may very well be deeded land around your unit. In my complex, we are deeded 3 feet around the perimeter of our townhomes. I am responsible for the "foundation" plantings............yet the rules and regulations allow the association to be responsible for the front walk and steps, but limit what I can do with my 3 feet of land!
Someone else mentioned you don't have to worry about frozen pipes - not so, especially if you have a townhome - you are responsible for the interior, and if, for example, the power goes off in the winter, and your pipes freeze, it's your responsibility.
Also make sure you understand what the master insurance policy covers (that's the one the complex has), and see what you need to cover on your own homeowner's policy.
What is confusing to many people is that "condos" come in all shapes and sizes, and that "condo" is a term that defines the type of ownership NOT the style.
If buying a condo, make sure you read and understand the bylaws (rules and regulations).....and be prepared for the maintenace fee to increase over time.......also be prepared for occasional assessments when larger community repairs are undertaken. I had a $2000 roof assessment in my complex a few years ago so all new roofs could be intsalled. Some homeowners were shocked that they had to pay this, as they assumed paying their montly fee would always cover everything.
The maor difference in buying a single family home compared to a condo type owenrship arrangement is that you are the "master of your own universe" in a single family, (fee simple) home.
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
Plenty of great answers and no need to duplicate them. However, I don't see much about the financing. Financing will be easier to come by if you are purchasing a single family home. Your downpayment will probably be less than if you are purchasing a condo. Most programs for financing condominiums require at least 10% down (where there is probably funding for single family home at 3.5% to 5%). Note - anytime you finance more than 80% of the mortgage - you will be paying PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) as well. So work towards having a large downpayment.
If you purchase a single-family home then you are responsible for all the property's maintenance and upkeep and can remodel to your own taste level. A condominium is managed by a company who oversees the maintenance of the building. There are areas and amenities within the complex that are for all the residents use (such as parking garage, laundry, pool, gym, etc.) You may have a private balcony or patio but the outside areas are for everyone's enjoyment. It may require the management company's approval if you wish to remodel or renovate as there may be certain rules in place. Also, there are usually monthly fees due to the management company (called common charges or home owner fees) so that they have money available to pay the complexes expenses (ex:building insurance and grounds keeping) and for repairs.
I hope this is helpful.
Prudential Connecticut Realty
A home may be the better choice if you desire having complete control over your environment. You need space from your neighbor, you enjoy a backyard or you don't get out much.
Like I said, it makes a big difference in how you live as to what you buy. Hope this helps.