Single Family Homes Vs. Condos

While single-family homes and condominiums are both residential real estate there are differences between the two. Condominiums are often referred to as “common interest development.”  When purchasing a condominium (or condo for short) you own a predetermined area of space, but not the land. Owners of condos share ownership of all the common areas like hallways, stairs, elevator,s etc. On the other hand, a single-family house owner owns both the house, the land it sits on, any structures permanently attached to that land, and the air above it (in other words they own the air rights). The owner is responsible for the entire property. In both cases, owners have title of ownership and tax responsibilities and may rent and sell the property they own. There are many things that you must factor in when deciding between the purchase of a condo or a single-family home.


Condos do cost less than single family homes, which can appeal to many people especially first-time home buyers. They can also appeal to people because there is little to no exterior maintenance. There is no cutting the lawn or trimming hedge. Condos also have amenities such as pool, tennis courts, gyms, and even golf courses. Condos can be purchased as investment properties and people can earn income by renting them out.

There are certain rules or by-laws that are set to manage the overall property of a condo building. The people that enforce these rules are known as the condo association, which consists of a group of owners within the condo. The by-laws usually cover things like noise, pets, common area usage, restrictions of exterior decorations, and even interior renovations. There is also an association fee which is paid monthly into a fund to cover maintenance, repairs, and cleaning so that all the owners have shared financial responsibility for the common areas. These fees can vary, and they should be considered along with the cost of the condo. The association fees allow for the condo owners to save on some general maintenance costs.

Single Family Homes

In a single-family, everything is yours. You usually don’t have association fees or rules, unless you live in a community with an HOA (homeowners association). When buying homes you should always check if they are in a neighborhood that has an HOA, gated communities always have HOA’s. Single-family homes usually appreciate in value more quickly than a condo of comparable size. Single-family homes can overall allow for more privacy and control.

Pros of Single-Family Homes;

  • Usually appreciate faster than condos
  • Give control over property
  • You don’t have to pay association fees (unless there is a HOA)

Cons of Single-Family Homes;

  • Responsible for all house maintenance and yardwork
  • Not always affordable
  • Housing taxes

Some of the pros of condos are;

  • More affordable than single family homes
  • Managed maintenance
  • Move in ready (they often come fully furnished)
  • Offer amenities
  • Wheelchair accessible

Some cons of condos are;

  • Less control over the space
  • Condo fees
  • They can be harder to sell than single-family homes