What Home Buyers Should Know About Houses and Condos

difference between condo and house

The sky is the limit when it comes to purchasing a residence. From single-family houses and mobile homes to condos and multi-family properties, people are finding more ways than ever to create their ideal living accommodations.

For most people, single-family properties make the most sense, so you might be wondering, what is the difference between a condo and a house? There are advantages and disadvantages to both, depending upon your lifestyle. To help you make the choice that’s right for you, we’ve assembled some key information.

A Closer Look at Condos

Condos come in many different configurations, from free-standing units to connected buildings that may share up to two walls with adjacent properties. The major difference between a house and condo is that the condo comes with restrictions on what the homeowner can do with the property. These are governed and enforced by a condo association.

Typically, property owners have the freedom to redecorate the interior as much as they like, provided they apply their hand only to cosmetic applications. The majority of condo associations prohibit major renovations inside the unit, such as removing walls. ,.

When it comes to the exterior of the unit, condos usually have small yards, some with private patio sitting areas. Yard maintenance, such as mowing, mulching and snow removal, is provided by the condo association, and there are usually strict guidelines that govern the changes that the homeowner is allowed to make. Gardening, planting flowers and even adding exterior decorations, such as flags, may be prohibited by the condo association.

The special services provided to the homeowner are covered by condo fees. These are paid by the owner of the property on a regular basis, but is not necessarily included in the mortgage.

Condos can be purchased outright and owned just like a private home, but some people prefer to sign a lease agreement instead. Ownership and lease options vary from one condo company to another, so prospective condo residents may need to shop around to get a good idea of just how many options they truly have.

The Distinctive Qualities of a House

Unlike condos, single-family houses are free-standing and share no walls with any other property owner. The homeowner is solely responsible for yard maintenance and snow removal.

Similar to condos, some neighborhoods have agreements that homeowners must sign  governing aspects of the property that prohibit amenities such as fences or above-ground pools, but the vast majority do not.

Depending on the size of the yard and the proximity to neighboring houses, the amount of privacy you have will vary. Except in the rare instance where covenants restrict it, home owners can always add hedges or privacy fences for added seclusion.

Most home owners take out a mortgage to pay for their house and make monthly payments to the bank that secured the loan. Others rent homes from landlords and make monthly lease or rental payments.

When renting a home, some landlords require the renter to assume outside chores related to the property, such as lawn mowing and snow removal, while others include it in the cost of the contract. All property owners should provide maintenance services to keep the home and yard safe and livable.

The Right Insurance for Everyone

No matter where you live, you need to have the right insurance coverage. This changes depending upon whether you rent or buy. A Bolt Insurance agent can answer questions and help you discover the perfect plan for you.