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Apartment or House?

The pros and cons of buying both as a homeowner

Apartment building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.-1

Home ownership might be the biggest purchase of a person’s life, both in the emotions attached to the purchase and the price tag. In recent years, potential homeowners have a plethora of housing accommodations to choose from. Whether you are considering a house, a condo or anything in between, you’ll need to weigh these pros and cons before nailing down the type of property that interests you.

Purchase prices

Generally speaking, condos and co-op buildings are cheaper to purchase than traditional houses. Because they are smaller and more densely-packed, condos tend to be less desirable to individuals with large families, however, that means those who think apartment living is a delight can get a real steal.

Maintenance costs

When you live in a building rather than on private property, the exterior maintenance is no longer your responsibility. Instead, as a shareholder, you share the cost of exterior upkeep with your neighbors in the form of an HOA or a monthly maintenance fee. It is important to remember, however, that a condo or co-op board has the right to make adjustments for significant repairs, which could end up costing you in the long run.

Autonomy

A private house affords you as much independence as you’d like; save for communities with housing associations. When you live in a building, you’ll have to take the rules of the community into account. The use of shared spaces, noise levels, and even pets are generally regulated to meet the wants of the majority. If you have your heart set on apartment living, it will be essential to find a community that has rules that fall in line with your lifestyle.

Location, location, location

Because condo and co-op buildings are densely populated, they tend to be closer to a city’s most prominent amenities. Proximity to mass transit, eateries, and walkable space are generally massive selling points for condo living. Houses, on the other hand, tend to be clustered in mostly residential neighborhoods, which means you’ll have to travel to access community amenities. At the same time, however, if you are interested in a quiet life, living farther from the downtown might be precisely what you need.

Size

Sure, some condos are the size of a traditional home, but you do need to give up the dream of a sprawling home if you plan on living in an apartment. Units ranging from 900 square feet up to 2000 square feet are most common, but units do come both larger and smaller. You will have to compromise on the amount of outdoor space you will have and the layout of your home if you are planning to be an apartment dweller. Houses, on the other hand, come in a wide array of sizes and you can generally find a property that suits both your indoor and outdoor needs.

Finding the perfect property will always be a truly personal decision. If you are torn between what type of housing accommodations work best for you, try taking a look at both condos and houses. As you view different properties, you’ll get a feel for what you are willing to sacrifice for your overall comfort. Don’t be afraid to ask a real estate agent for their opinion, too. They tend to be the perfect resource for homebuyers who are unsure about what will work best for them.

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