Pros and Cons to Buying a Condo Versus a House

Are you in the market for a new place to live but can’t decide between a condo or a single-family house? Both are good investments with the potential to appreciate in value and, if you can afford it, a better choice than renting. There are advantages to both types of housing, but one may be preferable over the other when you consider the following factors.Are you in the market for a new place to live but can’t decide between a condo or a single-family house?

Land?

If owning your own land is a priority, a condominium will not be the right fit for you. If, however, you don’t enjoy mowing grass, raking leaves and trimming hedges, then a condo would suit you well. Part of the fees included in condo ownership go toward paying for someone else to keep the building property beautiful.

Amenities?

Other aspects to consider include deciding if you’d rather have access to a condo’s pool, exercise facilities, playground, etc. or get a gym membership and walk to the neighborhood park from your house. Or if additional security at a condo building is important to you versus having a home alarm.

Financial?

The financial comparisons between condo and house ownership are important to take into account. One major consideration is determining if you can get a loan. Lenders have requirements that some condo units don’t meet. For example, be sure a condo is Federal Housing Association (FHA) approved and there aren’t any lawsuits pending against the condo association or the developer.

Related: What is a Warrantable Condo?

Property Values?

If you’re not occupying it for a length of time, you can rent your condo, but you must ensure that the association guidelines are enforced and that it doesn’t impact other units’ property values. Be aware that a condo can be trickier to sell if other units are also for sale in the same building. And, unless otherwise agreed to, the seller is responsible for existing/pending special assessments.

When you own a home, you may or may not belong to a homeowners association with its accompanying fees that help maintain common areas. Buying a condo means automatically becoming a member of the association and paying the monthly dues, as well as the potential special assessment fees that may arise in cases of, for example, large-scale repairs that the building may need that weren’t properly budgeted for. Be aware that because condo ownership includes automatic homeowner association membership, you share liability with your HOA, so do careful research of the board and the books. Be on the lookout for poor fund management or frequent lawsuits.

Condominiums generally appreciate at a slower rate than single-family homes and you still pay property taxes (via the monthly fees), but it’s interesting to note that if special assessments are levied for maintenance and repairs, they can be deducted on your taxes.

With research and careful planning, finding just the right home—be it a single-family house or condominium—can be a wonderful investment and provide the safety, security and happiness that homeownership brings.

More for Home Buyers:

Can I Qualify for a Home Loan?

How Can You Win as a Buyer in a Seller’s Market?

Avoid These Common Buyer Mistakes in St. Louis

How Can Your Offer Stand Out in St. Louis?

258 Properties
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Open 5/29
12121 Mckelvey Pl Bridgeton, MO 63044
$189,000
Neighborhood: Mckelvey Place Condo Bldg 1
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,116
Sq.Ft.
2007
Year Built
2
Days on Site
22032408
MLS
Luxurious condominium in Mckelvey Place. Bask in the natural light of this top floor unit with vaulted ceilings & open floor plan! The chef will be excited about the updated kitchen with espresso...
$525,000
Neighborhood: Donegal Condo
3
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
2,280
Sq.Ft.
1984
Year Built
2
Days on Site
22033227
MLS
Wonderful townhouse/condo in the sought after Central West End. Enjoy the walkable neighborhood, so close to restaurants, shopping, parks and public transportation. Private underground 2 car garage...
$159,900
Neighborhood: Saratoga #2 Condo #8
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,130
Sq.Ft.
2009
Year Built
2
Days on Site
22032316
MLS
Carefree condo ideally located on GROUND LEVEL with END UNIT privacy. FORMER "Madison" DISPLAY is walkable to Hawk Ridge Park, lake, fountain, Zachary's Playground & 1/2 mile scenic trail. Tons of...
$73,000
Neighborhood: Parc Lorraine
1
Beds
1
Baths
690
Sq.Ft.
1967
Year Built
2
Days on Site
22030005
MLS
A no-step, ground-floor condo is waiting to meet you at 1737 Herault Pl #A! Lots of fresh paint in a neutral palette will be the perfect background for any colors you bring on moving day. Use the...
$184,900
Neighborhood: Mckelvey Manor Condo
2
Beds
1F11/2
Baths
1,088
Sq.Ft.
1971
Year Built
2
Days on Site
22033639
MLS
Wow! Updated towhouse in centrally located Mckelvey Manor! You will love this one as nearly everything has been re-done. Starting with the newer kitchen---shaker style cabinetry, granite...
$125,000
Neighborhood: San Luis Hills Condo Amd
2
Beds
1
Baths
824
Sq.Ft.
1973
Year Built
2
Days on Site
22033278
MLS
Great updated two bed and one bath condo with low condo fee of $190 covers sewer, water, trash and some insurance. Perfect luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout the home with a fresh coat of...
$815,000
Neighborhood: Forsyth Place Condo I
3
Beds
3F11/2
Baths
2,787
Sq.Ft.
2002
Year Built
2
Days on Site
22003701
MLS
Come see this 3 bedroom and 3.5 bathroom Luxury Condo in one of St. Louis's most beautiful and desired neighborhoods. This open floor plan features 2,787 square feet of living space. Boasting 10'+...
$245,000
Neighborhood: Westport Crossing Condo 2-B
2
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,798
Sq.Ft.
1979
Year Built
2
Days on Site
22014900
MLS
This 2 car garage Condo features MAIN LEVEL Master Bedroom Suite with walk-in closet and full bath.Open living room w/ woodburning fireplace and 2 sets of patio doors leading to side patios also has...
$119,000
Neighborhood: Huckleberry Heights Condo
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,142
Sq.Ft.
1986
Year Built
2
Days on Site
22033813
MLS
Three bedroom and two bathroom condo. The upper-level unit has an open floor plan. The living room has vaulted ceilings, dining area, and kitchen. The kitchen has custom cabinets, granite...
$203,000
Neighborhood: Springdale Village 1St Add
2
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,410
Sq.Ft.
1983
Year Built
2
Days on Site
22033830
MLS
Awesome Opportunity in highly sought-after Creve Coeur Area. Easy access to anywhere in the St. Louis Metro Area. Less than a ten-minute drive to Creve Coeur Park-fantastic running, hiking, biking,...
$299,000
Neighborhood: Haydocks Delmar Ave Add
2
Beds
2
Baths
1,009
Sq.Ft.
1901
Year Built
2
Days on Site
22033862
MLS
Great opportunity to own an updated condo in the Central West End! This condo, one of six in the association, has many updates/upgrades and is in great condition. It is ready for a new owner-occupant...
$175,000
Neighborhood: Midland Manor Condo
2
Beds
2F11/2
Baths
1,364
Sq.Ft.
2005
Year Built
2
Days on Site
22033593
MLS
Beautiful condo townhouse with wood floors on the first floor, chef's kitchen with large counter to dining room/living room. Sliding doors to small patio with wooded view. Half bath. Living room is...

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