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Old 11-30-2017, 07:54 PM
 
Location: USA
740 posts, read 777,986 times
Reputation: 799

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Does anyone here prefer condos to single family homes -- provided that the condo affords you and your family ample space?

I know condos tend to get a bad rap, but my wife and I are glad we purchased one as opposed to a single family home. Here's why:

- Less maintenance (I'm no handy man), leaving us with more time for hobbies
- No yard to tend to (My wife does not have a green thumb on her)
- Not a dog person -- Cats are probably better suited for condos/apartments, which is why we intend to get one.
- The property is relatively quiet, except for the occasional barking dog
- We're not the kind of couple that enjoys hosting parties/get-togethers/barbecues, so living in a condo gives us an excuse to keep people away ("it's too small for so many people")
- We have a pool, video surveillance, and a security guard 5 days a week
- Even though the HOA fee is a little high, the management company does a good job maintaining the property. Anytime we have an issue, they're quick to get back to us.
- Lower mortgage payments (and that includes lower property taxes/insurance)
- We bought ours at a great price in late 2014. Zillow, Trulia and other sites say it has appreciated by roughly 15-20k
- We own a corner unit that is on the top floor (2nd). We share one wall with an older couple whom we hardly ever hear, and there's no one above us.
- We live in South Florida, where inventory is scarce and prices are through the roof.

We're thinking about trying to start a family next year. Right now, the plan is to have only one kid, so our 2/2, 1,050 sq ft. condo should be comfortable enough for a family of 3 -- at least for a good 5 or 6 years after the kid is born. We'd consider selling the condo and buying a house eventually, but the truth is that a decent house in a decent area at a decent price in South Florida is virtually impossible to find these days.

Does anyone here prefer condos to SFHs?
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Old 11-30-2017, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
3,975 posts, read 1,931,655 times
Reputation: 7302
I'll take SFH over condo any day. I don't like common walls. Now that we're retired, ranch style is more important to us. I'm one door away from the garage. For the same amount of space my mortgage will be less than a condo mortgage and association fees. I don't have to worry about surprise special assessments. No parking issues. I have a dog.

I do have to spend 40 minutes a week mowing the lawn. But it's done on my schedule, not someone else's. Meaning I won't be awakened or disturbed by hired hands. We bought our house new, so there should be very little that will need to be repaired or replaced in our lifetime.
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Old 11-30-2017, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Florida -
7,506 posts, read 8,767,986 times
Reputation: 12322
We moved from SFH's to waterfront condos in 2002 and still have no plans to move back to a SFH again (3 condos thus far, 2000+ sf, upscale).

Positive:
1) No yardwork or external maintenance (pool, roof, walks, paint, trim, leaks, etc)
2) Better locations (ocean, gulf) than affordable in comparable SFH's
3) Quiet, privacy comparable to SFH's
4) Good marketability and appreciation
5) Single monthly fee: amenities, services, reserves, expenses (marginally higher than SFH)
6) Comparable parking, storage, etc
7) Better security than in SFH's
8) HOA Recourse in the event neighbors, pets, etc. fail to live by established standards
9) Interior units benefit from surrounding A/C and Heat ... at lower cost than SFH's


Downside:
1) Occasional desire for large, landscaped, private lot
2) Other residents don't always clean-up after - or keep their pets from being a nuisance
3) Rental units with remote owners and renters may not respect rules and owner rights
4) Floor plans often more linear than spread-out
5) Potential for special assessments in unexpected areas if reserves are underfunded
6) Noise carries when other owners are doing renovations

Last edited by jghorton; 11-30-2017 at 09:44 PM..
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Back in the Mitten. Formerly NC
3,630 posts, read 4,302,983 times
Reputation: 4692
Freestanding condos became popular around here 15-20 years ago. I would have gladly purchased one when I was looking (preferred to actually), but the inventory was very low. All the benefits of a single family home but minimal work.
I don't like being attached to people. So I would only purchase an attached condo if I was getting a real bargain.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Arizona
5,044 posts, read 4,002,295 times
Reputation: 13974
Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
We moved from SFH's to waterfront condos in 2002 and still have no plans to move back to a SFH again (3 condos thus far, 2000+ sf, upscale).

Positive:
1) No yardwork or external maintenance (pool, roof, walks, paint, trim, leaks, etc)
2) Better locations (ocean, gulf) than affordable in comparable SFH's
3) Quiet, privacy comparable to SFH's
4) Good marketability and appreciation
5) Single monthly fee: amenities, services, reserves, expenses (marginally higher than SFH)
6) Comparable parking, storage, etc
7) Better security than in SFH's
8) HOA Recourse in the event neighbors, pets, etc. fail to live by established standards
9) Interior units benefit from surrounding A/C and Heat ... at lower cost than SFH's


Downside:
1) Occasional desire for large, landscaped, private lot
2) Other residents don't always clean-up after - or keep their pets from being a nuisance
3) Rental units with remote owners and renters may not respect rules and owner rights
4) Floor plans often more linear than spread-out
5) Potential for special assessments in unexpected areas if reserves are underfunded
6) Noise carries when other owners are doing renovations
On your downside 2, 3, and 5 can be checked out before the purchase. They are also easily fixed by a good board.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
3,779 posts, read 4,012,970 times
Reputation: 7659
I've lived in condos, SFHs, and currently a townhouse.

Condos do have a level of convenience but once we sell our TH, I will never share walls with neighbors. Sure, you have a quiet couple next door now, but that could easily change to a family with a child that bounces a basketball against the wall.

I'm only 40 years-old but my ideal place is a small SFH within an 55 and over community. We would get the benefit of not sharing walls and typically, exterior maintenance is taken care of by the HOA.
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Texas Progressive
2,269 posts, read 2,406,011 times
Reputation: 4755
Nope, my private outside space is crucial to my happiness and condo associations telling me who will be contracted and at what cost to replace a roof or windows does not appeal to me. I prefer my neighbors at a distance and, with 4 dogs I’m confident my neighbors feel the same way.
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Old 12-02-2017, 10:09 AM
 
1,660 posts, read 746,023 times
Reputation: 1290
Here is metoo for condo living.
Soon to be tried, within 2 years. Condo has been purchased.
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Old 12-02-2017, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Frederick, Maryland
683 posts, read 276,071 times
Reputation: 2091
We recently bought our retirement home. A 1950s all brick ranch with a double garage. One level living though we do have a nice walk out basement and guest suite.

The house only had 2 previous owners and no children had ever lived in the house. The seller was an electrician who liked to fix things up in the house. So it was updated and in excellent condition. We live on the ridge of a small mountain with a nice view. We donít back up to any homes.

Downside is lawn maintenance....we hire out for that and snow removal....we have a snow blower.

We enjoy having a smaller home and are very appreciative living on one level. We thought about a condo but dealing with an HOA didnít appeal. And we wanted to live in a more rural area.

Someday though we might need a condo. I wouldnít rule it out.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, not Paris. #MAGA.
7,756 posts, read 4,019,768 times
Reputation: 7812
I prefer a condo, specifically a condo in a high rise on a higher floor (anything above the 10th-12th floor I'm happy with). I enjoy living up high, living in a building with others, the shared amenities and maintenance that I'm not personally responsible for upkeep for, etc. Now, I eventually want a dog. While I'd enjoy a large dog, I'd never get one while living in a condo, which is a downside for me.
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