What is a Condo?
A condo (short for condominium) is more like an apartment you own. It’s in a shared building or a complex, and it’s usually much smaller in square footage than a house.
A condo board or homeowners association (HOA) owns and maintains the exterior of the building and all the common areas like parking garages, swimming pools, the clubhouse, and maybe a gym. Different condo complexes have different stuff depending on their size and location.
Condos are very popular with first-time homebuyers, downsizers, and investors. They’re typically less expensive than houses, but you do have to pay attention to those pesky HOA fees. if you live in Lusaka a very good example of a condos would be the flats in the Kabwata estates image below.
Image of Kabwata estate's
What is a Single Family House?
a single-family (home, house, or dwelling) means that the building is a structure maintained and used as a single dwelling unit. Even though a dwelling unit shares one or more walls with another dwelling unit, it is a single-family residence if it has direct access to a street or thoroughfare and does not share heating facilities, hot water equipment, nor any other essential facility or service with any other dwelling unit. In some jurisdictions, allowances are made for basement suites or mother-in-law suites without changing the description from "single-family". It does exclude, however, any short-term accommodation (hotel, motels, inns), large-scale rental accommodation (rooming or boarding houses, apartments), or condominiums.
Most single-family homes are built on lots larger than the structure itself, adding an area surrounding the house, which is commonly called a yard in North American English or a garden in British English. Garages can also be found on most lots. Houses with an attached front entry garage that is closer to the street than any other part of the house are often derisively called snout houses.
What are the pros and cons of living in a condo or a house?
The differences between condo living and house living are much more significant. Condos are smaller and part of a community. Houses are in neighborhoods, and many new houses are built as part of planned developments that may also come with HOAs. But your four walls and your yard are your own.
Pros of Owning Condos
Several lifestyle-related advantages come with owning a condo.
State-of-the-art features: If you have your heart set on granite counters, stainless appliances, and an open floor plan, newer condos often boast such amenities.
Luxurious facilities, features, and grounds: Spas, clubhouses, barbecue areas, tennis courts, jogging trails, and recreation rooms are among the amenities condos offer residents.
Security: In addition to having neighbors close by, complexes often are gated or staffed with guards.
Concierge services: Many condo complexes have doormen and desk people, along with the custodial staff.
Less maintenance and upkeep: No mowing lawns, raking leaves, or replacing broken windows. You are generally responsible only for your interior.
Cons of Owning Condos
The downsides to condos are things often characteristic of apartment life or communal living.
Too close to your neighbors: Sounds and smells can travel through adjoining walls.
Rising condo fees: If the building is older, it could require more reserves to pay for roofing, plumbing, and exterior maintenance, which tends to mean higher fees and sometimes special assessments.
The Big Brother aspect: Conforming to association rules is not for everyone. For example, rules might restrict the number and types of pets you can have or where you can smoke.
Less spacious: The interiors of upscale condos certainly can be comparable to many homes, but outdoor space typically is limited because of the density of the community. You likely won't have room for a private garden or a private driveway where you can wash your car.
Pros of owning single-family homes:
More privacy: Since single-family homes usually sit on a piece of private property and don’t share walls means you have a lot more privacy, says Katie F. Jones, a real estate agent and investor at Agape Investing. Also, “noise level does not usually matter in a single-family home because neighbors cannot hear you,” she says.
More storage space: Single-family homes typically have more storage space compared to condos and other types of property with shared walls, Ross adds. Many have room for exterior storage space, such as a shed, garage or barn.
More options for exterior decor: Ross also says that single-family homes make it easier to personalize your landscaping. You can also build onto or modify the structure more easily if you have a single-family home.
Cons of owning single-family homes:
Fewer ways to use your property to earn an income: California real estate agent Mike Kistner says that, when comparing single-family homes to multi-family homes, it’s hard to deny that multi-family homes have more income potential. You could live in one unit and rent out the other units in a multi-family property, for example.
Potential for more responsibility: If you own a single-family home instead of a condo or townhome that is part of an HOA that provides some basic services, you’ll have to hire help to deal with maintenance and repairs or do it all yourself.
Single-family homes can cost more. This is especially true if you’re buying a home on a large lot with a big backyard and a garage. However, you should check housing costs in your area to make sure this is true where you live. The good news is there’s no monthly HOA fee when you own a single-family home outside an association.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to what your goals are with the property.
Which one do you prefer condos or Single-family houses?
Planning on Owning property contact us to get started.