Bob Ratliff Blog: pros and cons of condo vs home ownership

pros and cons of condo vs home ownership

Advantages & Disadvantages of owning a condo vs a home


Owning a Condo: your personal ownership is typically limited to the interior of unit which includes floors, ceilings and walls. Sharing responsibility with all condo owners when it comes to exterior amenities and common areas.


Disadvantages of Condo Ownership: single-family home owners are responsible for the interior and exterior maintenance and upkeep of their home and provide advantages condo ownership does not.


Community Living: condominiums share walls meaning you have to respect your neighbor when it comes to noise compliance. Generally condo communities lead to more interaction with neighbors and their pets.


Fees: Condominium owners are responsible for fees collected monthly and additional fees can be assessed in response to unexpected or unplanned events.


Resale: Depending where your condo is located in which city may or may not be sensitive to real estate market trends. Condominiums use to be the first hit and last to recover generally speaking. Times are changing for many popular city condominiums.


Condominium Rules: single-family owners have more independence while condo owners must follow community rules following hoa rules are facing steep fines. Condo owners are not allowed to do certain renovations without approval, not allowed to put up certain items in their windows and must respect noise compliance.


Privacy: Condominiums share walls, there will be noise at times.


Owning Space: condominium owners do not own the land beneath them, they own the space between the walls of their units along with shared common area of their condo community.


Advantages of Condo Ownership: Community HOA generally covers all exterior repairs, including roofs, building structure, and owner shared areas.


Location: Condominiums are generally conveniently built around city center, shopping and restaurants. Close proximity to city centers and major transportation routes.


Affordability: Condominiums are very popular for first time home buyers, empty Nester's and others. Varying in prices and hoa fees can be a win win for buyers but not always in HOT real estate trending markets.


Maintenance: No lawn care, No shoveling snow, No exterior cleaning. 


Amenities: owners can enjoy community swimming pools, gyms, meeting rooms, and additional amenities condominium owners don't have to worry about community amenities only living enjoyable free lifestyles.


Condominium Owners Accountability: Association sets rules and regulations all condo owners must follow. Enforcement to ensure compliance.


Weighing the pros and cons of condo vs home ownership has been brought to you by Bob Ratliff, REALTOR® (512) 587-5689 helping buyers and seller with Austin area condominium investing. If you or someone you know is considering buying or selling a condo please contact Bob Ratliff.


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Comment balloon 18 commentsBob Ratliff • January 27 2016 05:14AM


Good morning Bob, if I was still living in the city, condo would definitely be my choice. Great post offering the differences between a condo and single family home.

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) over 4 years ago

Hi Beth Atalay we have been in our home over seventeen years at the lake but I'm really tired of it and want to sell. If we move to a condo it will have to be downtown Austin and the monthly HOA's are not cheap. Have a great day my friend.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) over 4 years ago

As a general rule I don't like sharing space. I'll probably end up in a condo situation at some point, but I do prefer my single family!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) over 4 years ago

I here you Sharon Tara even though I say I'm tired of living at the lake I would probably hate a confined condo.... I have another 15 or 20 years left in me to mow and rake leaves....

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) over 4 years ago

Hi Bob... very nicely done. Condo ownership is not for everyone and single family home ownership is not for everyone. Understanding the pros and cons of each will help any home buyer to decide what's best for them.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 4 years ago

Bob age seems to make a difference when it comes to preference of a condo or house.  single Buyers and Older Buyers seem to fall into the condo side with maintenance being a major consideration, where as buyers with families seem to prefer houses over condo's

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 4 years ago

Bob, excellent post weighing the pro's and cons condo vs home ownership. Your points are very well presented and understood. 

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) over 4 years ago

Bob, you did an awesome job on this post! I think one day I'll be in a condo but, for now I'm working on going from a townhouse to a single family. I really like how you highlight the pros and cons, great resource for anyone looking to move in Austin!

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty) over 4 years ago

Everyone has their own pros and cons right Nina Hollander thanks for dropping by today I hope your weather is much better today.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) over 4 years ago

very true George Souto families do prefer single family, younger and older prefer condos isn't that funny how it works.....

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) over 4 years ago

Thank you Bob Robert (Bob) Gilbert hope you and Yolanda are both having a great Wednesday. The weather is much warmer today compared to yesterday.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) over 4 years ago

Amanda S. Davidson townhouses are very nice and some look like single family units.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) over 4 years ago

Hi, Bob. Those buyers trying to decide whether to buy a home or a condo will love this information. You've certainly given them some good points to consider. 

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) over 4 years ago

Thank you Debbie Laity I've learned from the best.... speaking of you of course.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Robert Ratliff Realty) over 4 years ago

Good morning Bib. Very well done post, it make sense for anyone considering purchasing in your area to discuss what home would be best for them.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 4 years ago

We work with many Condo buyers and sellers Bob, and it's definitely not for everyone. Sometimes those rules and regualtions are deal breakers...

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) over 4 years ago

Good Thursday morning Bob Ratliff, Broker Associate - REALTOR® CRS, GRI ~ 512-587-5689 - Thanks for sharing the great information on the pros and cons of living and playing in a Condo complex. I have listed and sold my share of Condos.  Many people love them and they make for great real estate investments as well in our area.

Posted by John McCormack, CRS, Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me! (Albuquerque Homes Realty) over 4 years ago

My mom is now 81 years old and a touch of memory loss, she complains that she cannot keep up with the cleaning chores of the unit. I have a house in mind and suggested she take the capitol from the sale of the condo and purchase the house and I could live with her along with my driver. She would have no responsibilities as I would cook and clean and maintain the landscape.

Posted by Jonathan W Grant over 1 year ago