Condo vs. Single Family House?

Asked by daneliamunguia, Tampa, FL Sun Nov 4, 2012

I will be a first time buyer and me and my husband are talking about whether to buy a condo (we are currently renting one) or a single family house. I prefer a house but I also love the great amenities we get in our condo community. Also, my other question is whether condos are usually cheaper than houses in the Tampa Bay Area?

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Margaret Has…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Wed Nov 7, 2012
To answer your 2nd question first - Yes. Condos are cheaper than comparable single family homes. But single family homes tend to have a better appreciation value if you look at it as an investment. There are many single family homes in communities with great amenities, so you can have the best of both worlds in a single family home in the right location.

Best Wishes,

Margaret Hassani
Broker, Lightning Realty
Phone/Text: (813) 766-1501
1 vote
Sandra Blaker, Agent, Tarpon Springs, FL
Mon Nov 5, 2012
In my opinion, a first time buyer is better offer purchasing a single family home in an area without any association fees. Pasco County has some wonderful programs available for lst time home buyers. If you would like more information, just give me a call on my direct line at 7278-510-2334'

Sandra Blaker
Realtor Emeritus
Florida Luxury Realty
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Mon Nov 5, 2012
There are many reasons both for and against purchasing a "condo vs single family" that take into consideration, family, age, income, amenies, lifestyle, etc. etc.

Young buyers will usually come to appreciate that as the move toward starting a family that condo living in not best suited for this stage of an individuals life.

I'll go out on the limb and generalize that you can expect to pay at least $1,000 quarterly in condo fees. Granted, you will have most of these same fees with a single family home but usually to a much lesser degree. A cost comparison between your targeted condo and a single family home would be advisable. Your agent will be able to support you with this initiative.

Best of luck,

1 vote
Lynn Brock, Agent, Sarasota, FL
Tue Jan 1, 2013
daneliamunguia, this greatly depends upon what lifestyle you are seeking. There are different types of condos. The most familar style is a unit situated in a mid rise or high rise. There are also villas and stand alone homes which are condos. It depends upon how the developer submitted the papers when the project was being developed.

The big difference is that a condo offers common areas; recreational facilities, swimming pool, fitness center, clubhouse, golf course(?) which you pay a per centage in your monthly maintenance fee to use and enjoy.

The condo monthly maintenance fee also includes other features such as; basic cable, pest, reserves, manager, possible water/sewer/trash. Although the montly fee may seem high, if you breakdown the expenses, by line item you may discover it is the same as those expenses you would pay living in a single family home.

Some people want the convenience of putting the key in the lock arriving home and that it. In a single family home there will be some thing that requires your attention, the yard, pest control, the pool.

Both lifestyles offer something slightly different, it really depends upon you. Personally I have lived in a low rise condo, a high rise condo, and single family home(s). Each one was perfect while living there.

It is really up to you.

Best regards,
Lynn Brock
Brock Realty Inc.
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Mon Nov 5, 2012
Price wise, condos are less expensive. Even when the monthly maintenance costs are considered they are usually less than the cost of providing the same services for a single family home. In most condo situation you will only pay for your electricity and cell phone. Most other living expenses are included in the monthly maintenance which can range from $150 monthly (inland) to $700 monthly (delux waterfront).

Of course, this type of property ownership places you in a compromised position should litigation occur within the organization or with an outside contractor. One condo community, due to a lien imposed by a roofing contractor, prevented the sale of ANY condos for over one year.Many are not receptive to the 'everybody's in your business' communal life style of a condo and eventually opt for a single family home. Fifty Five plus communities are no exception.

Financing can present a challenge, but others have found ways to meet the requirements of lenders.

There are so many differences in purchasing a single family home and a condo that two separate guides are required. If you would like my Florida Condo Buyers Guide just give me a call. It not only covers the mechanics of the structure but devotes a chapter to interpreting the all important financial disclosure documents of the association.

If you are a serious buyer you will need to call.
No, don't use that 'contact' button.
No, don't use Trulia email.
Go old school and pick up the phone, if you are serious.

Best of Seccuess to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group, Palm Harbor
0 votes
Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Mon Nov 5, 2012
Condos will require a large downpayment so if you have at least 25% to put down...possibly more, then you can consider buying a condo.
0 votes
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