Market Overview

3 Ways Condos Are Better Than Houses

3 Ways Condos Are Better Than Houses

Are you ready to buy a place to call home? A home where you feel like you are part of the community? A place where you feel like you belong?

When you are ready to feel at home, you’ll need to make a few decisions. You probably want to start with the location and then think about the lifestyle you’ll have in your new home.

A Covenant-Controlled Community

A condo is a hybrid between a single family house and an apartment. Although some houses are in homeowner associations — covenant-controlled communities — all condos are covenant-controlled. This works well for many, but not all, people.

Living conditions tend to be closer together in condos than in houses, which is one of a few reasons that covenants are needed. Many people have a strong preference for condos over houses because condos are more affordable, require less maintenance and have amenities that the average house doesn't have.


Condo affordability is determined the same way as house affordability. A general rule of thumb is the 36% rule.

Your monthly mortgage expenses and all other debt payments shouldn't exceed 36% of your gross monthly income.

If you are just trying to get a grasp of what that might mean, if you earn $50,000 a year, you cannot afford a $350,000 house.

However, depending on your other debts, that $50,000 a year is likely to afford you a $135,000 condo.

That includes much of the maintenance and all of the amenities that come with the condo lifestyle. That’s important information to consider if you aren’t sure about paying the fees in a covenant-controlled community.

These are perks you otherwise won’t be able to afford on an income below $100,000.

Condos Have A Sense Of Community

If you’ve lived in a suburb, you know that most neighbors pull their car into the garage in the evening and don’t come back out until the next morning’s commute back to work.

At best, you’ll talk to your neighbor over the fence a few times while mowing the lawn on a nice sunny Saturday.

There isn’t much community living that compares to condo living.

For one thing, most condos are in the city. You won’t have to deal with that daily commute to and from work. You’ll have more time for leisure and recreation.

It’s almost inevitable that you’ll meet your neighbors daily in the lobby, elevator or shared parking garage, but preferably at the pool or a lounge area.

You’re in the city. Besides meeting people in your building, you have a lot more opportunity to stroll down the block to a park, coffee shop, bar or restaurant.

It would be easy to ask someone in your building lobby if they want to join you for a drink at the bar around the corner.

How many people do you think you’ll meet getting out of your car parked inside of a garage attached to a single-family home?

That’s more than three ways that condos are better than houses.

For many people, especially first-time buyers and those without families, condo living can be the right lifestyle with the right balance between privacy and community living.

If you are leaning toward a condo, the most important thing to do before signing is read all of the rules you’ll need to play by in a covenant-controlled community.


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