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Should you consider buying a condo or a single-family house?

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Buying a home is a huge decision—and deciding what home to get is equally so. If you’re not sure whether a single-family house or condo is right for you, take a look at what each could offer:

Why get a condo?


There are pricey high-end condos, but by and large, condo units are more affordable than houses. As per the National Association of Realtors (NAR), condos are about $10,000 cheaper than house and lots. This price difference is even wider in some markets, especially when comparing between condos and houses in gated communities.


It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to maintain a house—and homeowners are solely in charge of it. Not so for condo dwellers; if a pipe leaks or if the grass needs mowing, building management will take care of it. All these maintenance work are covered by the association dues you pay each month.


Most condos are located in urban centers, allowing you to live, work, and play in the heart of the city. If you’re tired of wasting hours commuting from suburb to city, a condo can be an excellent option. Condos are especially popular among young urban professionals, though many families also live in them.


Amenities are yet another draw for condo dwellers. Imagine unwinding from a long workday by swimming a few laps or practicing your tennis forehand. Fitness junkies can pump the metal or sweat it out in a sauna. Indeed, condos come with various lifestyle amenities that make living there more enjoyable.

Why get a single-family house?


Scarcity breeds appreciation in real estate. And landed property will only grow scarcer as populations increase and real estate development thrives. This is why homes in gated communities are so pricey—there are only so many places left where one can enjoy the white-picket-fence lifestyle. Thus, a single-family home is both a necessity and an excellent long-term investment.

Land ownership

When you buy a condo, you own the unit but not the land it stands on. Because of this, your “ownership” is restricted to only the four walls you call home. Further, condo associations do not exist in perpetuity; once its incorporation expires, the association may decide to convert the land for another use.

When you buy a house, you own both the structure and the land.


Owning land also grants you far greater freedom with designing and customizing your home, provided you meet construction codes. Put in a pool, paint your walls purple, construct a tree house—all these are possible. Condo dwellers, meanwhile, must abide by association rules that often restrict how much you can personalize or renovate your unit.

Subdued living

The suburbs are often a car ride away from the metro, but there’s an upside to this distance—you can live away from the hectic pace and noise of the city. Coming home to a peaceful home after a long day’s work is a reward in itself.

Still can’t decide which home to get? California Lifestyle Realty has listings of both condos and single-family homes. Moreover, our team can give you expert advice on the home you need for your lifestyle. Do give us a call at 760.564.1200 or send an email to info(at)califestylerealty(dotted)com.