When is buying a condo a good idea?

Many homebuyers picture themselves settling down in a charming single family house, but an alternative (that is oftentimes cheaper) would be buying a condo, which is a residential unit within a larger complex. Choosing a condo can offer many advantages for people who want to buy a home, especially for those who live in cities where condos are more common such as New York City or downtown Chicago. We've compiled a list of some factors you should keep in mind when choosing between a house and a condo.

Urban living. Because space is limited and land prices are extremely high in major urban locations, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to find a house at the center of a major city in the U.S. Homebuyers will find that condos are far more common than single family homes. However, on the flipside, the benefits of living at the center of a large city include factors like - residents are able to walk to their offices, restaurants, shops and other attractions. Plus, the caliber of shopping and dining options in major cities are far superior. If you like the thought of having close access to all the businesses that the city has to offer, you might want to choose a condo over a house when you buy a home.

Cheaper than buying a house. There are a number of reasons why condos are cheaper than houses than houses. For instance, because you will not be buying the land on which the condo sits, it is cheaper to buy a condo than a comparable single family house.  Condos are often the ideal choice for first time home buyers or home buyers who are on a tight budget because they are the more affordable alternatives. There are luxury condominiums and penthouses that can cost more $1 Million.

Less responsibilities when it comes to Maintenance and Repair. When you live in a condo, your home owners association (HOA) fees typically cover all the exterior and common area maintenance of your building. That means you won’t have to worry about taking care of your landscapes, cleaning your pools, or re-painting your walls.

Additional amenities. You may not be able to install an indoor pool, a tennis court or a private gym in your house, but if you live in a condominium complex, you are likely to have full access to amenities like these that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. The range of amenities that each condominium complex offers is highly variable - with some condos providing more upscale services like wine cellars, laundry service and pet sitting services.

Some advantages of buying a house. Even though condos have plenty of benefits, traditional houses are still popular choices, and for good reason. For homebuyers who want more privacy, a less urban environment, more space and the freedom to change their exterior or make upgrades, a house is probably a better choice. While it is possible to find a condo that fits a family of five, you’ll be able to choose from a wider selection of large spaces if you’re hunting for houses that can accommodate larger families.

Ultimately, the decision to buy a home is an extremely personal choice that will come down to individual preferences. If you’re interested in cultivating a perfect lawn, enjoying plenty of privacy and accommodating a large number of people, then you may want to sticks with a house purchase. But if high-rise views, low-maintenance requirements and fast access to the city are more your style, then buying a condo may be the perfect decision for you.