Owning a single-family house vs. condo has many differences, starting with the structure. When you buy a single-family home, you own the house and the land it sits on. When you buy a condominium (or condo for short), the condo is a private residential unit within a large, multi-unit building.
Choosing between a single-family house and a condo comes from personal preference, budget, and lifestyle, so it's essential to carefully consider your needs and priorities before deciding.
If you're wondering which type of home best suits your needs, keep reading to learn the fundamental differences between the two.
Purchasing a single-family home is beneficial, as you own both the structure and the land it’s built on. Compared to condos, they tend to have a higher value. In March 2022, a report by Redfin stated that the median sale price of a single-family home in the U.S. was $406,000, while the median sale price of a condo was $319,000.
For some people, owning a house is a better fit for their lifestyle. A larger yard means the kids have more room to play, you can start your dream garden, or you finally have enough space for a dog.
Parking and storage are two more reasons to compare when deciding on a house vs. a condo. Houses often have more space for parking, such as a garage or driveway, while condos may have limited parking options. Single-family homes typically have more storage space, inside and outside, compared to condos. This can be especially important if you have a lot of belongings or need extra storage for hobbies or work materials.
Some single-family homes will have a homeowners association (HOA) fee attached. This fee often covers things like maintaining community buildings, amenities, landscaping, and more.
Other benefits of buying a house include:
Condos offer an easy transition into homeownership. If you’ve been renting an apartment, you’ll find a condo has similar features such as shared building space with other residents. Additionally, you can find comparable square footage, but with the added benefit of building equity in your home through ownership.
Condominiums have gained popularity among homebuyers in recent years. The Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report 2021 reported that 10% of homebuyers purchased a condo, representing a 4% yearly increase.
There are several advantages to buying a condo, including affordability. Condos are often more attainable than single-family homes, making homeownership more accessible to a broader range of buyers. As houses appreciate, condos, too, can be a good investment opportunity, as they can appreciate over time and provide a return on investment when sold.
Another advantage is in security. Condos often come with additional security features, such as gated access or on-site security personnel, providing residents with a sense of safety and peace of mind.
Other benefits of buying a condo include:
Deciding between a single-family home and a condo ultimately comes down to individual needs and circumstances.
Some key points to remember are:
Whether you choose a single-family home or a condo, investing in a new home can be a smart financial move. Both options provide you with ownership of a space and the opportunity to build equity toward other financial goals. Ultimately, choosing between a house or condo depends on your preferred living environment, budget, and willingness to undertake maintenance tasks.