This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Solving the homebuyer's condo or house dilemma





The choice between purchasing a condo or detached house can be difficult for first-time homebuyers and repeat homebuyers alike. Your decision will affect not only the price of your home, but also where you'll live, your home's initial condition, your responsibilities as a homeowner and even your lifestyle.

Here's a look at factors you should consider:

Personal control

Generally speaking, you'll have more freedom in a house, says Jane Peters, a Realtor at Power Brokers International in Los Angeles.

With a house, you can paint the walls any color you want and do extensive remodeling to make the house fit your needs. A house will also give you outdoor space for a garden, swimming pool or larger dog. Many houses also feature a garage, carport or driveway where you can park one or more cars and store bicycles or other outdoorsy or seldom-used belongings.

"You're your own boss in a house," Peters says. "You can do whatever you want."

Price

Condos tend to be significantly less expensive, even half-off compared with houses in some locales.

"Where I live," Peters says, "you're not going to get into a decent house for less than $1.2 million. For a condo, you could get in at maybe in the $600,000s."

That differential means you probably could purchase a newer or nicer condo for the same price as an older house in the same neighborhood, says Hope Peek, an associate broker at Peek Properties in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

"Within the price range, typically the house needs more work or more updating," she says.

Maintenance

Houses typically require a lot more maintenance, and you'll be on the hook for all the time and money involved. If you buy an older house, you'll probably want to update it and you might have to take care of deferred maintenance the prior owner overlooked or couldn't afford.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,080.14 +21.45 0.12%
S&P 500 2,117.69 +4.76 0.23%
NASDAQ 5,092.0850 +36.0220 0.71%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs