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When Should You Buy a Condo Instead of a House?

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By : Mike Taylor    99 or more times read
Many people mistakenly believe that the only real option when buying a new home is to buy a house; however, a house is not an ideal option for many people. Owning a house and owning a condominium both have their advantages and disadvantages which need to be weighed before deciding which option will work best for you.

Houses usually seem like the best option for most people and for some they really are. Individual houses don't share walls with neighbors and have their own yards that you can landscape any way you like. The home owner decides how to decorate and maintain the yard as well as the outside of the home and unless there is a neighborhood rule about how things need to look, you can pretty much decorate as you please. When you own your own house there is naturally a buffer between you and your neighbors which can make it easier to live with them. All of your property and building maintenance is funded by you, so that you make all the financial decisions about how to go about fixing and replacing items as needed.

For some people, houses are more work than they have time for and a condominium is more in line with the amount of upkeep they can fit in their schedule. When you own a condominium you share the public spaces like gardens, pools, tennis courts, and/or gyms; upkeep of these communal places is done by a person who's hired to maintain them which is paid for by your strata fees. There is also the benefit of the added security of having your neighbors closer and if you live in an apartment-style condo there is probably a security entrance or doorman. Many condos are located in a more urban location and can cut down on travel time for many people who work in that environment as a result. Due to the close proximity of neighbors and the shared nature of the condominium, they can also cost distinctly less than a stand-alone house will, particularly when you factor in location and perks like a pool or gym facility.

Buying into a condominium isn't always fun and games unfortunately; there are some aspects that you need to take care to look at closely before you decide to buy into a complex. Take the time to look into the use of strata fees and how much money the condo association has banked for in case of emergency repairs. Look at the previous council minutes to see if there are any evident problems that you might not want to jump into. Make sure that the council doesn't have any restrictions that you can't live with, like a no pet rule or no Christmas lights past January.

As with any purchase, make sure that what you think you want to have is what will actually work best for you. Take the time to look into what your needs are and what you have the time or money to actually utilize or upkeep. Making a purchase that accurately reflects your needs will keep you happier in the long run.
For information on Santa Rosa Beach real estate, contact Michael Taylor, your Destin FL real estate expert, at

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