House vs. Condo: Which is a Better Option?

Picking the right home setting can be daunting. Depending on where you’re at in life, what your schedule is, how big your family is, and other variables, deciding on the kind of home you live in is important. Maybe you just need a one-bedroom condo or maybe it’s time to expand into a five-bedroom ranch-style house. No matter the choice, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to your homing needs. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer evaluating a purchase, or an empty nester looking to downsize, consider these tips when trying to choose between a house or condo.


For a homebuyer, the brick and mortar style of the home isn’t the only factor that impacts a purchase decision. Mortgage rates are another huge consideration. However, if you’re deciding between a house vs. condo investment, mortgage rates are in your favor. According to Fannie Mae, the annual average mortgage rate for 2020 will be 3.2%, down from 3.9% in 2019. If you opt to purchase a condo, which is a salable unit within a larger structure, you should know the pros and cons.

  • Pros of Condos: Condos require the least amount of maintenance among all home types. You only need to maintain what’s inside the four walls you live in. Things like a leaky roof or peeling exterior paint are completely under the care of the property manager or condo association. Condos can be great for anyone who wants to keep maintenance to a bare minimum, which is perfect for people who spend time away from home regularly, first-time homebuyers, or someone who’s not ready to commit to tedious home maintenance. With a condo association to handle the maintenance and security, you won’t have to worry about things like lawn care or trash services.
  • Cons of Condos: Condo association rules can be highly restrictive for those who live in them. This means that you may not be able to personalize the condo you have purchased to your liking. Those who value exclusivity and privacy might find the common areas, such as grills, pools, playgrounds and parks less than ideal, as these areas are used by anyone in the community. You may also be restricted from renting out your home or put it up for home-sharing services, like Airbnb. For a homebuyer with more desire to personalize their home, this might not be the best fit.


When most people discuss buying a house, they mean making a purchase of a single-family home, or a standalone structure on a foundation. Single-family homes can be single-story or have multiple stories.

  • Pros of Houses: Probably the major point in favor of buying a house is the freedom to do practically whatever you want with it, as long as it’s within HOA guidelines (if there is one) and local building ordinances. Owning your home gives you more freedom in how you want to live versus condos. A house doesn’t share any walls or common spaces as some condos do, meaning you have all the privacy you’d want. Plus, many houses have yards to play in, build other structures on, or entertain guests outside.
  • Cons of Houses: Buying a house means you’ll be responsible for all the maintenance and repairs, which can end up being rather cumbersome and costly. From lawn maintenance to keeping gutters clean to repairing burst pipes, the costs of paying for home repairs is potentially endless. Those tasks can add up to significant time and money, causing some people to rethink buying a house.

At the end of the day, it’s best to weigh your options and decide what’s best for you, the homebuyer, for the long-term. Buying a house or condo is an expensive and serious investment that will stick with you for a long time.

About Byrnes Agency

At Byrnes Agency, we offer insurance solutions that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for personal policies or commercial coverage, we have the right coverage for you. To learn more about our products, contact us today at one of our two locations.

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