would you buy a 3 BR condo? or 3 BR single home?

Asked by Yesenia, California Wed Jan 16, 2013

what are the ros and ocns of owning either a condo or single home? i heard suzy orman say that buying a condo is the WORST investment ever. any thoughts on this? thanks!

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Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Dear Yesenia,

The traditional 3bedroom 2 bath single family home is still is the strongest as far as demand goes. It's actually very hard to find a three bedroom condo, most are two bedroom units. I don't know why Suzy said that about condo's, they are a common first step in home ownership.
1 vote
Douglas Lagos, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Hi Yesenia,

It all comes down to location, location, location.
A condo in front of the ocean will accrue in value more than a home on the other side of the 405.

That said, pros of a home are:
Freedom to do most anything you want, or decorate how you want to.
No problem, noise, etc., from neighbors above, below, or on either wall.
No home association fees (HOA).
Ample parking.
Homes, in the same locality as condos, will accrue more in value than condos.

Pros of condos:
No yard maintenance.
Any exterior repairs get taken care of by the HOA
More security when compared to a single family home.

Cons of a house:
You need to take care of landscaping, painting, any repairs.

Cons of a condo:
HOA monthly fees, and fees that can come up during the year to fix other things. You need to pay the fees as they become due, no waiting for later. You may have to pay for things you don't want or need.
Follow all the HOA rules. Some can be very restrictive.

Only you can make the decision of where its best for you to live in. Some, swear by condos; others would not get caught dead in a condo.

Any concerns, ask on this forum, or contact me via my profile.

Douglas Lagos
Realtor, Certified HAFA Specialist (CHS )
Coldwell Banker Residential
1 vote
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Hi Yesenia

In the long run, a single family home will generate more value than a condo.

Yesenia, keep in mind it come down to affordability and location.

If you can afford it, buy a home in a good location.

Good luck.
Web Reference:  http://ruthandperry.com/
1 vote
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Jan 16, 2013
I think Suzy Orman is absolutely wrong. First and foremost, if you are buying a place to live, your needs should be paramount. These days, you can buy a condo with low mortgage rates that are close the price of renting an apartment. You will get mortgage write offs by owning and the security of knowing a landlord can't evict you.

A condo offers a stress free, almost maintenance free lifestyle. For those who don't want the work of a yard, roof maintenance, termite maintenance, etc....,and wish to focus their energies elsewhere, condo living can afford an easier lifestyle.

Last but not least, not everyone can afford a 3 bedroom house...here in San Diego, you really need about $550K+ to get a decent family size home....there are just a lot of people that can't afford it.

From a purely investment point of view do houses offer more upside potential - yes....but if we are talking about buying a home to live in...condos and townhomes are great options.
1 vote
Miekeba Jones, Agent, Silver Spring, MD
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Hi Yesenia, The condo fees can be the worst if you do not attend the meetings and voice your opinions.
1 vote
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Jan 16, 2013
I do not agree that condos are uniformly horrible investments. We bought one in 2009 and sold it in 2001 for $120K more than we paid for it. That said, single family homes generally appreciate more than condos, but they also cost more. If you can afford a single family home and are able to deal with all the maintenance, buy a home.

If you can't afford it or prefer and environment where maintenance is taken care of by others buy a condo.
1 vote
Emily Ryslin…, Agent, Modesto, CA
Wed Jan 16, 2013
I would buy a single family home. Better resale value in my opinion and you don't have to deal with any HOA's.

Emily Ryslinge
Broker - Ryslinge Realty
(209) 232-5610
1 vote
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Wed Jan 16, 2013
It depends on your lifestyle.

Single Family Home:
Usually no HOA fees
Usually no CC&R's (Rules)
No attached walls
Has a yard
Home owner is responsible for all maintenance

Rules and lot's of them
Shared Walls
HOA Fees
Less maintenance
Shared Amenities

Most times you can get a condo for less than a single family home given the sale neighborhood.
Web Reference:  http://www.terrivellios.com
1 vote
Rick McGrath, Agent, Modesto, CA
Sun Apr 20, 2014
Great question. It depends. If you are thinking of keeping the condo for a very long time, it may make sense. However, if you are thinking resale value you may want to consider the single family home. Most families prefer to own a single family home because it doesn't come with as many restrictions and rules not to mention association fees. Typically the single family home also offers larger rear yards for children and pets.
0 votes
Heidi Roddan, Agent, Modesto, CA
Fri Nov 29, 2013
The main consideration should be your lifestyle. There are many pros and cons for each. However, when it comes to resale keep in mind that there can be lending restrictions on condos....I have had many buyers who wanted a condo, but simply couldn't purchase one due to owner/renter occupancy rates. This can reduce the pool of qualified buyers, thus affecting the sales price.
0 votes
Scott Cary, Agent, Modesto, CA
Thu Nov 21, 2013
Great question! Condo or home...as stated, it depends on your lifestyle, but clearly when it comes to resale, I feel a seller can do better 'profit wise' in a home. If all being equal with regards to improvements, no HOA fees with a home are appeal to the majority.

If you want a small yard, there are neighborhoods that offer this set-up.
0 votes
Vincent Paige…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Wed Nov 20, 2013
Cons are if HOA is $400-$500 a month, you could get $40K to $50,000 more home for your money..

0 votes
Rick McGrath, Agent, Modesto, CA
Wed May 15, 2013
Depending on what your needs really are, I usually ask my clients to think future resale value. With association fees ( some can be very high) I believe you would be better off buying a single family home. While there are some perks to condo facilities, like community pools, outside maintenance, etc. reselling usually is somewhat more difficult that selling a single family home. For more information on home buying visit my website: http://www.mcgrathaguirre.com
0 votes
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Fri Jan 18, 2013
Location has a lot to do with it as Douglas stated. However, I must chime in with the others all things being equal you'd be far better off investing in a SFR. Everytime there's a down turn in the RE market condos and town homes seem to take the biggest hit.
0 votes
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