apartment, condo, or Single Family Home!

posted 3 years ago in Home
Post # 3
Member
679 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

How about a townhome? (Or are you considering that a condo as well since there’s an HOA?) It seems to be the best option for us for our first home purchase in the next year or so. We would like some outdoor space and a more “homey” feel but an SFH in our market would just be way too expensive.

Post # 5
Member
1802 posts
Buzzing bee

My SO and I wanted to buy a house right away rather than wasting any money renting, but we ended up renting an apartment, and I have to say it is a pretty big waste of money in my opinion, so you are right. We are going to spend $12,000 in rent per year in this apartment, and will have nothing to show for it. I can’t imagine putting almost $50,000 into basically nothing if we ended up staying here for only 4 years, so we are going to be looking into buying a house ASAP even if it means having to break our lease.

I have always thought that we would just transition right into a single family home and stay there until the end of time, but I have realized that that probably won’t happen. I grew up in the same home all of my life, but my parents had me when they were 30, so they already had time to go through multiple moves in their 20s. 

Here’s how I would narrow it down:

First I would eliminate single family vs. an attached living situation (townhome, condo, apartment). Do you want to have to mow the lawn, shovel snow, do landscaping, etc. There are some single family homes with HOA fees, but they will be much more expensive than townhome situations. You also have to factor in the purchasing of all of that major equipment. You do get more privacy with this option, and you won’t have to worry about following the HOA’s rules which can be pretty strict and over the top. 

If you end up deciding to go with a townhome or apartment you can narrow it down pretty easily from there. Most of the time townhomes will offer you more space, and you’ll also most likely get more of a backyard space in a townhome than in an apartment. Apartments are smaller, but you may not really need all of the extra space at this point in your lives, so the apartment would be less maintainence.

Post # 6
Member
679 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@otto2008:  That’s another reason we’ve been looking at HOA/co-op townhomes- they handle maintenance and all that good stuff! It’s kinda scary to think how much can go wrong with a house, and with a lot of our savings going towards a down payment and not available to handle any major “surprises” of homeownership, we feel like there’s an extra layer of security with a townhome. 

As much as we (well, I, mostly) just want to get ourselves into that “forever home” ASAP, I’ve had to let that go and accept what we really can afford/handle at this point. It won’t be “forever” but it’ll still be ours, and that beats renting 🙂

Post # 7
Member
10 posts
Newbee

@otto2008:  First, decide on the rent vs own question. How long will you be staying in that area? When you graudate, are you likely to find work in this area or will you need to be open to moving to find a better job? If you think you’ll be staying the area for a period of time, then owning is probably the way to go.

 

For the condo vs SFH debate, after owning a condo, I must say I would never own a condo again. Having the exterior maitenance taken care of is great, but it comes with a lot of headaches. You are deeply tied to what your neighbors do, especially financially. If a certain percentage are delinquent on their dues, you could have problems selling your condo or the association could have problems keeping up the property. There is also a lot of restrictions in some places. For example, if you want to move and rent out your unit, some places will restrict that ability. I would say rent until you can afford a SFH.

 

Post # 8
Member
855 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2008

@otto2008:  I think you should rent – whatever kind of dwelling it is. Renting gives you the opportunity to let you guys develop a list of things you like/don’t like, want or could live without without having to deal with…

Ohhh… we should have lived here instead of where we are. We really need a bigger X room or additional bathrooms or (in our case) CLOSETS. This layout isn’t good for us, so we stayed in his rented condo for 8 months after our wedding just divising a plan and getting an idea of what we liked knowing we could get out with 30 days notice if we found THE place that fit all of our whims… because buying/selling is a gigantic pain in the ass. 

Wait to buy until you have an idea of what too much space is, what too little space is, etc and then you can live and be happy without having the urge to continue to look at property. LOL

Post # 9
Member
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Church

@otto2008:  It depends on the lifestyle you guys want and when you plan on having kids. Condo apartments are typically smaller and you need to deal with others more (condo rules). While you are paying a monthly premium to have things taken care of it can take a while for some things to happen (like window replacement). Where I am the condo market is really overly-saturated so people that bought them are not really getting return. If you are planning on having kids in the next 2-3 years it might not be the greatest. Also if you want a larger dog. If you want to be in an urban center these are typically what you would live in. May include ammenities like a pool or gym or otherthings. It took my friend like three years to get one of his bay windows replaced.

Single family homes mean that you need to set aside money every mnth and take care of all the upkeep yourself. Good for if you are starting a family sooner than later. Has more space. Takes more money to heat if you are in a cold climate. More space for entertaining. Oh, but more ability to get things fixed right away/compromise.

@DJones69:  Agree! Why buy when you don’t know what you want? You’ll be stuck there at least five years to get equity!

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