You’re ready to buy your own home. You’ve done your homework and learned about mortgages and how to get the most bang for your buck. You know this investment will help you prepare for a stable living situation and future value. You know where you want to live, and what amenities you’re looking for. Now you’re down to the last question: should the new home be a house or a condo? Knowing the pros and cons of both choices will make the buying a condo vs a house decision much easier.

Condo Pros: Because of their smaller size, condos are less expensive and more energy-efficient than houses. They’re often the only housing available in downtown areas, which makes them appealing to city dwellers. They may have access to desirable shared amenities. Since association fees cover upkeep costs for the exterior, owners are only responsible for interior maintenance. Condos may create a sense of community, as residents share amenities and association decisions.

Condo Cons: Condos require association fees every month, and are not part of your mortgage payment. They may go up suddenly if unexpected maintenance is required. Since association decisions are made jointly, you don’t have much control over how fees are spent. Condos don’t have as much privacy or outdoor space as houses, and their small size may not be what you’re looking for.

House Pros: Houses usually offer more room, privacy and outdoor space than condos, and more freedom about maintenance and upgrades. They may appreciate in value more consistently than condos. There are no association fees; your mortgage payment, property taxes and home insurance are the only fixed costs of ownership.

House Cons: Houses are more expensive than condos, and you’re responsible for all exterior and interior maintenance. They may not even be available in downtown areas. Their larger size means you’ll pay higher utility bills.

Buying a condo vs a house boils down to your personal preferences, budget and lifestyle. Carefully considering the pros and cons of each side ensures that you’ll make the decision wisely. For more First Time Home Buyer Education, download our eBook now!