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Condo Verse Home

Condo Verse Home

In many areas of the US there can be a choice between a condo and a home. This choice is tough because there are pros for either type of property, and there are cons to either type of property. As buyers start to look for their first property, or their move up property all these items come into play. Let’s go over what the pros and the cons on for these two types of dwellings. Just to be clear some single-family residence (SFR) typed structures can also have HOA governing boards, and that also will be a topic.  


Pros for a house outside an HOA: 


A house gives you the ability to do anything you want and this property is owned by you. The person that purchased the property owns every inch of the lot, and if something you want to do comes up during ownership you do not have to ask any governing boards for permission. This is land with grass, landscape, patios, and/or even large private swimming pools. This can be at a homeowner’s fingertips while owning a SFR not in an association. 


The next big plus in a home without an HOA is that homeowner does not have to pay an association fee, which could cost thousands of dollars a year. This is a great savings and helps everyone living in this area save more money each month with the non-HOA area. The HOA fee would factor into a buyer’s debt to income ratio when looking to buy a home, which is great for no HOA because then you as the new homeowner you’ll have a larger purchasing power.  


You can paint your home whatever color you want, there can be any type of window that you would like, or you can put up a pink fence around your whole house if that’s what you want. There are so many options to pick from as a homeowner in this scenario. 


Cons for a house outside an HOA: 


Everything that comes up as an issue can ultimately be money out of your pocket depending on home warranty, or insurance not covering the issue. This house is your house and if there is any maintenance/repairs at all it’ll be on you to fix it!  


Another con of living outside an HOA is that there is no regulation on any other neighbors for what they may put up, paint, not paint and not put up. That means anything for him or her that might be a nice looking piece of lawn art could be an eyesore for everyone else, and no one is there to enforce rules/regulation.  


Some homeowner associations pay for utilities for that property, and during home ownership typically this is all on the owner as the solo person owning the property. As these can be helpful to people that do not want to pay even more on top of the house expenses.  


Pros for a house/condo in an HOA: 


The biggest and best reason to have a home in the HOA is the rules and guidance on what all the residence should be allowed to do. As this is a double edge sward, the pro is many as this can make sure everyone in the HOA stays in line and there are no obnoxious colors of homes, lawn ornaments, or cluttered yards/houses.  


A new roof and brand new paint is another huge reward when you live within an HOA. They typically paint every 7-10 years, and reroof the house/condo because they are responsible for the exterior of the home in a lot of the communities. This saves the homeowner a large sum of money for the property!  


Lawn care, this is included in HOAs in many communities! There are many communities that take care of all the lawns, bushes, or any other items that are on the exterior of the home. You can see that this is another cost savings for the residence.  


Cons for a house/condo in an HOA:  


The biggest con would be HOA fees, and this is something that creates the increasing costs of home ownership in these areas. Increasing HOA fees and new assessments will cause your expenses on a month-to-month basis go up. These hikes do not happen all the time; however, be aware that they can happen at a moments notice. 


A lot of communities are in such a small area/space for your home or condo that it may seem almost impersonal. This can be a big drawback in the case of people with kids, dogs/pets, or wanting more room to landscape or garden. 


The rules and regulations that effect day-to-day activities for community members can be a deal breaker for those members. It comes down to the rules and what the person is looking for in the community. These types of rules and regulations can hinder a person that performs maintenance on their car or truck. Some HOA prohibit vehicle maintenance in the community due to the noise, hazardous material, or even the appearance of clutter.   





The biggest thing that would be a deciding factor is what is the best situation for you and your family. Do you need the amenities that an HOA community provides, or do you need a less regulated living community. These are all great questions to where you would like to buy and what you would like to buy. 



Peter Mckernan

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