General Question

skfinkel's avatar

If buying a place just for me, should it be a house or a condo. This is in Seattle.

Asked by skfinkel (12877 points ) November 29th, 2009

I have been struggling, trying to figure out which makes the most sense. I have owned a house, am living on my own right now in a rented apartment. There are advantages of condos (although I am concerned about home-owners dues that go up and up), and certainly houses as well. Any ideas?

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11 Answers

Darwin's avatar

If you like to do yard work or have several pets or hate to hear your neighbors do all sorts of things, then a house is a great idea.

If you hate yard work, travel a lot, have only one small pet or none at all, and don’t care what you hear through the walls, then go condo.

madeinkowloon's avatar

Depends on how much time you have to maintain the grounds of your house – yards/ curb appeal. Then there’s pets, whether you’re annoyed easily by neighbour’s noises—unless you’re the one making all the noise ;) It also depends on the re-sale market as well; for example some cities, the residents have troubles selling their condos.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

What’s the commute look like for each option? What about a co-housing development?

rooeytoo's avatar

I would probably choose a small house with a small yard because I like to play in the garden and I must always have a dog.

But if these are not requisites for you, I would opt for a condo because your condo fees probably are not much more than repairs and upkeep on a house and the equipment required to maintain it.

YARNLADY's avatar

A condo comes with way too many rules and drawbacks, such as too many neighbors, too close.

With a home, you are in charge of how much time and money to spend on upkeep, and not at the mercy of other people.

faye's avatar

I worked with a woman who made her own wreath for xmas and was not allowed to hang it on her door in a condo. How many rules are you good wth? Never forgetting that the condo committee can add/change rules after you’ve moved in.

YARNLADY's avatar

@faye That last is a good point. My uncle moved into a condo that allowed pets, and they passed a rule against pets. He couldn’t afford to move, and the rules forbid owners from renting out their units. He had to give away his beloved dog.

figbash's avatar

I’ve thought about this as well and I’d go with a house – even if it’s a small one. There are less neighbors or other people to have to worry about. A yard, even if it’s a small one can provide space for all of those things you inevitably wind up needing – barbecue, outdoor painting projects, gardening, etc. I vote for house!

evil2's avatar

i have owned both and find that the investment in real estate is the important thing, but look at the areas your interested in and find something you can afford and be happy with for some time and look at what your gonna get for your investment and whether the housing market in your area has potential for decent growth…

YARNLADY's avatar

I want to add to my answer above – if you ever plan on having guests or decorating for holidays, or adding to your household – get a house. There are rules against everything you want to do in the condo. In the condo where my sister lived, it was even against the rules to laugh too loud.

Darwin's avatar

The condo I lived in passed a leash law for cats.

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