Condo v. Single Home, Which To Choose?

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Real Estate


            GONE ARE THE DAYS of our parents, where you save up your down payment, you buy a home, and there you stay. A home purchase is an investment, surely, but do you necessarily need to wait for suburban domesticity to descend for you to own property? Does property ownership require a significant other? Hardly. A growing number of millennials are investing their first home down payments in condos, and it is paying off. Let’s dive into the tradeoffs of traditional single-family homes v. a condo.

  1. Condos are generally less expensive. With the purchase of a condo, you are buying the condo itself, not a tract of land. Condos therefore can be less expensive while offering the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms as a single-family home. Also, you don’t have to deal with landscaping, as that is usually taken care of with your HOA fees.


  1. Amenities are more readily available. Many condos offer gyms, pools, tennis courts, and/or clubhouses for gatherings. If you are interested in getting to know your neighbors, this is an easily accessible way to interact with other people in your building.


  1. Potentially cheaper insurance. Condo insurance may be cheaper, since you are primarily insuring your possessions. You will want to check the HOA insurance policy though, to make sure your insurance covers any gaps.


There are some cons you need to consider as well:

  1. An HOA has a great deal of say. A Homeowner’s Association will govern the building and will have considerable control over what you can or cannot do within your unit. This may be as simple as what you can have on your balcony to how your guests are admitted to the building. It can include the number and type of pets you can have.


  1. HOA fees. Compare the costs of these with a single home in the area. They will increase your monthly costs above your mortgage payment; look at what they cover. If the common areas and amenities are run down or not something you think you would ever use, you may be better off looking elsewhere.


  1. Lack of Privacy. Shared walls, common areas, and potential short-term rentals can feel invasive. While balconies have privacy screening from adjoining spaces, you will still be able to hear and see your neighbors. If you are sensitive to cigarette smoke, a neighbor below you who smokes on their balcony will directly affect yours.


One of the primary considerations, however, especially for a starter home, is resale value. Take a very serious look at the condo as a whole; are there multiple units for sale at once? If so, you may be looking at a longer period for a sale unless you invest massively in upgrades to tempt potential buyers. Is the HOA well managed? If not, financing can be more difficult because lenders are aware of potential issues arising.

On a final note, if you are seriously considering a condo, if you can afford it buy a two-bedroom. When it comes time to resell, two-bedroom units have a much larger market.



Local Condos in the Savannah, Pooler and the surrounding Coastal GA Area :

Upper East River Savannah, 31401

Thunderbolt Harbour Condominium  Savannah 31404

Commons at Wilmington Island

Fort Screven Villas on Tybee Island 31328 

River Oaks Richmond Hill 31326

Woodlands at Southbridge Savannah 31405





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Coastal Georgia Real Estate and Rental Homes

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Michelle M Tucker | !Daley Real Estate | GA Real Estate License #297541