Condo or Home? What is Right for Me? 4 Things to Consider

Condo or Home? What is Right for Me? 4 Things to Consider

When it comes time to purchase a dwelling of your own, you can streamline your search before you start by deciding between single family homes and condominiums. Weighing the potential requirements and expenses associated with each dwelling type can help you choose between these two excellent options.

Once you have narrowed down your search, you can easily locate the properties that meet your exact specifications. Here’s what you need to know when choosing between condos and single family homes.

Home Owner’s Association Dues and Requirements

Condominiums and single-family dwellings are both potentially subject to home owner’s association, or HOA, dues and requirements. The monthly dues remain separate from the mortgage payment and can total up to $400 a month. Upscale condo communities often have the highest HOA rates due to their extensive amenities, high-quality grounds design and ongoing association support.

With the dues comes strict requirements about the way you can design the inside and outside of your dwelling. These limitations are designed to help the association protect the local property values through targeted services and regulatory action. Many older single family housing communities do not have an established HOA, which frees you from the dues and requirements.

Without an HOA, however, your property remains at risk of devaluation in response to undesirable changes to nearby dwellings and their grounds.

Property Taxes

Both single family homes and condos require the payment of property taxes each year. The property tax rate is based on the overall value of the home and its associated land, noted on the title as a tax parcel. For condos, this means that the tax rate for the actual land is split across all dwellings in the community.

Therefore, when combined with their lower purchase price, most condos have a lower annual tax payment than similarly sized houses. With either option, you usually have the ability to wrap the property taxes into your loan and pay them on a monthly basis

Dwelling Repairs and Updates

Just like in a house, you will be responsible for the completion of all interior repairs in a condo, unless a neighboring structure causes the damage. Shared spaces in a condo community are the exception, as those are typically maintained by the property owners, using the dues paid by the residents. If large-scale repairs are required in the condo community, the property owners may ask for the payment of a one-time special assessment fee to enable the completion of the required upkeep tasks.

If most cases, however, the reserve account held by the property owners will cover expected renovation tasks, such as roof replacements. Homeowners, on the other hand, have to shoulder the full cost of necessary large-scale repairs and renovations on their own. If your roof, HVAC system, plumbing or other important elements fail, you must cover the whole cost to rectify the situation. With a full roof replacement costing $7,000 on average, for example, constantly saving for future expenses is a reality for well-prepared homeowners.

Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance

When you buy a condo, you can expect the property owners to use a portion of all residents’ monthly HOA dues to pay for landscaping and grounds maintenance services. For a single-family home, however, you must resolve all exterior property issues and maintain the landscaping on your own.

When hiring a professional to handle this task, owners of single-family dwellings end up spending as much as $10,000 on their initial landscaping design and $500 a month for continued upkeep services. Drainage issues, pest infestations and other problems can further increase maintenance expenses for homeowners. Condo owners simply pay their static monthly dues, and then sit back and enjoy the well-maintained landscaping design established across their community grounds.

Choosing Between Condos and Houses for Sale in Bellevue

By knowing just what to expect when living in a condo or house, you can easily select between the options. Therefore, it is important to carefully weigh each of the considerations above to see which dwelling type best aligns with your expectations for the future. Once you determine whether you want to look at condos or houses for sale Bellevue, you can confidently start your search.

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