You have decided to buy a home in Los Angeles but cannot decide whether to buy a single family home or a condo. Each has their pros and cons, so how will you decide.
- Outdoor space if you like to putter around the garden, have a private pool, barbecue, etc.
- No homeowners dues (unless you live in a gated community or some kind of planned unit development).
- You are not at the mercy of a board of homeowners (unless the above applies). If you want to make changes to your property you only have to worry about the city. If you want a 60 lb dog you don’t need permission.
- No shared walls and no one above you.
- Depending on the area you want to live in, affordability will be a factor. If you want the urban living then a condo is going to me for affordable.
- The overall investment in a home is better.
- Security will be a bigger issue in a house, especially if you travel a lot.
- You have the expense and burden of property maintenance- the garden, the roof, driveway, etc.
- Utilities are going to be higher than in a condo.
- Depending on your location, if would like to be in the center of things a condo is going to be a less expensive proposition.
- You may have amenities that might not be available in a similar priced home like a pool, gym.
- The only maintenance you are responsible for is your own unit. The homeowners dues you pay in will take care of all the common areas.
- If you are security conscious then you can find many condo buildings which will address that need.
- Depending on the amount of your homeowners dues you will probably find your outlay will be less than in a home. Water is generally included in the dues and you don’t have to worry about a gardener, pool man, etc.
- If you travel a lot then it is easier to lock and leave a condo than a home without worrying about a break-in or burst pipe.
- Homeowners dues could be a strain on your monthly budget. The less you pay in dues the less you get in services. You will need to budget accordingly.
- The possibility of repairs needed which are out of your control can add an assessment to your dues at any time.
- If you want to make upgrades to your unit you will probably be at the mercy of the homeowners association from which you will have to seek approval.
- You will probably share walls or have someone above you, which can be a problem if you are sensitive to noise.
- Condos are usually the first to drop and the last to rise in a volatile real estate market.
- It can be more difficult to get a loan on a condo especially if you are looking for an FHA loan.
If you are looking at buying a home in a city like Los Angeles then it would be good to make a list of your wants and needs. It is basically going to boil down to three things, location, price and budget. After that narrowing down the search will be a lot easier.
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What are the Closing Costs?
How to Read an MLS Listing
What are the Different Listing Statuses?
Understanding the Purchase Agreement
What is Title Insurance?
How to Take Title
Should I Buy a House or a Condo?
What is Escrow?
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