Home Buying in Kirkland>Question Details

Julie Arguez, Home Buyer in Kirkland, WA

Can you assume that the value of a townhome/condo will increase to a lesser degree than a free standing home?

Asked by Julie Arguez, Kirkland, WA Thu Aug 14, 2008

(due to the fact that there are likely to be more on the market)

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Yes. A condo will not appreciate at the same rate as a Single Family Residence will. But I don't think it's for the reason you state. Condo living is not for everyone, plus we have a long history as a Nation of Single Family homes as being the ideal.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 1, 2008
I agree with you...But even beyond the "american dream" of owning your own home and mowing your own yard is the economic aspect. If you buy a condo you have monthly HOA dues in addition to any mortgage payment. In a condo or townhouse you generally do not have the same freedoms as a SFR. Want to remodel a condo? You need permission. Want to have a loud party at 2 am? Better make sure your neighbors don't mind. In a SFR you don't have to worry about the upstairs neighbor's washing machine hose bursting while she's on vacation, or the guy next door falling asleep while smoking. For resale purposes, I just feel that SFR is a safer choice. (Again, there are always exceptions to the rule!)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 1, 2008
While there are exeptions to every rule, even in Kirkland a SFR will appreciate at a better rate than a condo or other attached home. Some condos/townhouses perform very well but in general you're better off with a SFR. An exception in Kirkland would be the French Quarter condos on Lake. However, right next door is a SFR being built--for $10,000,000. Even these overperforming condos are overshadowed by SFR in the immediate vicinity.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 1, 2008
It used to be true that when prices went down, condominiums went down first and when prices went up condos went up last. That has chaned with the rapid growth of the number of Baby Boomers who are choosing condominium and town home living for the lower maintenance and more freedom to be away lifestyle.

Also Kirkland has done a great job of creating density near the core of the town. Kirkland has maintained its value in the three downturns I have experienced in my career. The reason is that empty nesters and singles and young professionals like the "walking to restaurants and shops lifestyle".

On another note, right now is an incredible time to by because of the reasonable prices and plentiful supply of all single family inventory. It is also a great time to move up to a more expensive property. That is because you may take a $50,000 haircut on the lower priced property, but the haircut, relatively speaking, will be $100,000 on the higher priced property.

To see graphs on what's happening in the condominium market or the Eastside Market, go to http://www.mcknightrealty.com and click on Market Statistics.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 16, 2008
Very generally, and all else being equal (location) the answer would be yes. But there are definitely too many variables to say that definitively.
Web Reference: http://www.homehounds.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 16, 2008
There is no absolute answer for your question. First the price range is important to answer your question and it depends if the townhome condo is in downtown Kirkland or Houghton. Since homes in the downtown area are very expensive it may be that in this location you will receive a higher than normal appreciation on a townhome/condo. The age of the townhome/condo is important and of course, as always, the supply and demand of similar properties. Statistically a single family home will have greater appreciation but I have read reports that there may be a boom in condo/towmhome appreciation starting in the next 2 years. A good test is to look at a complex/price range you are interested in and see if someone has purchased in that complex 5 years ago and factor the appreciation on a recent sold unit and then compare to single family home in the same manor. This gives you a realistic idea of future appreciation. I do believe that the lower end of the price range of any area may gain more appreciation than the mid or higher range in percentage because of the numbers of buyers in the starting price points.
Resident of downtown Kirkland
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 15, 2008
No. Many Townhomes and Condos have increased to a greater degree than single family homes. Appreciation often has more to do with location than just about anything else. A townhome in Downtown Redmond is likely to increase more than a rambler in Kenmore. A condo in Downtown Kirkland is likely to increase more than a condo in Kenmore or Bothell. A townhome closer to Microsoft is likely to increase more than a single family home in North Bend.

If you had a townhome next to a single family home in the same location, then the single family home might increase more. But rarely to you find that combination. Some areas appreciate more than others. Some home styles appreciate more than others.

A good townhome in a great location often appreciates more than an obsolete style of single family home in a so-so location.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 14, 2008

First, I never like to "assume" but based on the statistical data for homes vs. condos (in general), homes do appreciate more than condos, but not necessarily for the reason that you stated above. I think that appreciation of a property has more to do with the desirability rather than the availability (i.e. more people want single family housing vs. condos). However, depending on the specific area, condos sometimes can (and do) increase more than individual homes.

My recommendation would be to find a property that you like (whether condo or single family home) and base your purchase decision more on your daily lifestyle (what do you want in a home, where do you want to live, etc) than the appreciation factor. As of right now, nothing is really appreciating anyway...

Best of luck in your home (or condo) search!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 14, 2008
While I think that assumption in a general sense is true, location is always going to dictate. For example, if you compare a home without a view to a condo with a view and all other amenities equal, the condo may appreciate more. If both properties had equal views as well then the house would probably fair better. Overall we're not exactly talking about an apples to apples comparison. Throwing a townhouse into the equation makes it a bit more difficult especially when it's a zero-lot structure withou a Homeowner's Association. I think it's safe to say that anytime a buyer has to share walls or abide by a ruling entity the perception is not well received as a detached structure. Since buyer's preferences are what really drives market price it can be said that all things equal the single family home will always come out on top.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 14, 2008
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