Condo vs. House: Which Should You Choose in Alexandria, VA?

condo vs a house

15% of Americans are interested in becoming homeowners, but the path to homeownership isn’t easy. With rising housing prices and lower supplies, it can be difficult to find your dream home!

This is one reason that more people have been shifting their focus toward condos instead. Is a condo right for you, or are you better off with a standalone home?

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of a condo vs a house. Read on to learn more.

Benefits of Buying a House

So why would you want to buy a house? Owning a single-family home is the dream of many Americans, so what makes it so appealing aside from the ability to build equity? Why are so many people more interested in buying a house than a condo?

Here are a few benefits of buying a traditional home. 

Privacy

Owning your own home means that you get ultimate privacy. Even if you live somewhere where homes are close together, you’re not sharing a wall with anyone when you’re in a free-standing house. 

Are you tired of tiptoeing around so you don’t disturb your downstairs neighbors? Are you always being kept up late at night by someone who lives down the hall? When you live in your own home, those problems fade away.

More Freedom 

When you own your own house, most of the time, you can do whatever you want with it (within reason). As long as you’re not disturbing other neighbors, you can decorate as you please both inside and outside. If you’ve always wanted a beautiful front garden, rainbow walls, unique floors, or any other interesting house feature, you can have it!

There is one exception to this, and this is if your home is in a community with an HOA. Most HOAs for houses are not as strict as HOAs for condos (more on that later), but this is something you should keep in mind when you’re on the hunt for your new home.

Resale Potential

If this is your first home, or you know it’s not your forever home, you should keep the resale potential in mind. Selling a home is far easier than selling a condo unless you’re in a major metro. If you plan on staying long-term, this may not be a factor.

Downsides of Buying a House

So why wouldn’t you want to buy a free-standing house? Are there any potential downsides that could make a single-family home less appealing than a condo? 

Here are a few. 

More Maintenance

When you buy a home, you’re responsible for all of the maintenance on the entire property. You’re likely going to hire someone for the tougher tasks, but you’re going to be the person cleaning, painting, and making minor repairs all over.

This can be a lot of work for busy people. 

More Expensive

It’s no surprise that the average house is more expensive than the average condo. You’re paying for more space. If you’re on a budget, you might struggle to find a house in the neighborhood you’re looking in. 

Benefits of Buying a Condo

So why would you consider buying a condo instead of a home? Condos are less popular among potential future homeowners, but those future homeowners might be missing out!

Here are a few reasons that we love condos. 

Amenities

This isn’t going to be true for all condos, but many of them are in buildings with plenty of fantastic amenities. This is to make up for the lack of space.

Some condos may have gyms, common areas, game rooms, and even rooftop decks. You may be lucky enough to buy a condo with a community pool! Best of all, you don’t have to take care of any of those areas because they’re shared amenities. 

Affordability

In most cases, condos are going to be cheaper than equivalent standalone houses. You can get the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the same neighborhood but on a smaller budget. 

You still get to build equity with your condo so it could set you up for a larger home purchase in the future. 

Keep in mind that there are likely fees for you to consider when you’re making your final decision. These fees vary depending on the community. 

Less Maintenance 

The fees that you pay for your condo are partially for maintenance. While you’re responsible for taking care of everything inside your condo, everything else is the responsibility of the building owner. 

All common areas, amenities, outdoor spaces, garbage collection, and several other things are covered by your fees so you don’t have to deal with it. 

Downsides of Buying a Condo

So why wouldn’t you want to buy a condo? It does make sense that people would be cautious about buying a condo instead of a house. Here are a few things that may make a condo less appealing than a single-family home. 

Lack of Privacy

Privacy is a big issue when you live in a condo. As we mentioned before, when you’re in a house, you don’t have to worry too much about your neighbors. As long as you’re not being incredibly loud, you won’t disturb anyone (and vice-versa). 

You’re always going to share at least one wall as well as either your floor or ceiling with another community member.

Strict HOAs Are More Common

While standalone houses can have HOAs, almost all condo communities have them. They also tend to be stricter.

Condo HOAs can control everything from the color of your curtains to the types of plants and furniture you’re allowed to have on your patio. Make sure you know the ins and outs of the HOA before you commit to a condo.

A Condo vs A House: Which Is Right for You? 

When it comes to buying a condo vs a house, there’s no right or wrong answer. Both of these options are great for building equity and having a home to call your own.

Consider your priorities and start looking around your favorite Alexandria neighborhoods to find your ideal house or condo!

At LizLuke, our team wants to match you to your perfect home. Contact us to chat with a real estate expert today!