Buying a Condo vs a House
Are you having trouble finding the right house in your budget or in your location? If so, you may want to know that there are other considerations you may want to consider, like looking to buy a condominium. In this video, I’m going to talk about who and why you should buy a condominium and what are the advantages of buying a condo versus a house. One of the biggest advantage of buying a condo is in general, condos are cheaper than homes and it’s a great entry point. In fact, Bank Rate has this quote that you may want to consider, and it’s worth knowing “A condo can be a more affordable entry point to homeownership than a single-family home”.
So here that’s a great reason in itself. But let’s look at before I talk about the advantages of buying a condo. What kind of buyer looks for condos in the first place? Well, there’s a lot of them. The first one is the entry-level home buyers. I remember when I bought my house back in the 90s, I was in Anaheim, I had just started a flower business and I did not want to pay the high rents. At least I thought they were high rents. So I was looking for a house in the $200,000 range. And because I had opened up a business, I could not afford to buy a house that was worth $200,000. So talking to some other agents back then when I was not a realtor, I ended up buying a townhouse for $121,000. It was a condo actually, for $121,000 not $200,000, with 2 bedrooms, one and a half bath, and I could barely afford it. But guess what?
I stayed in that condo for eight years, sold it, and then moved to Anaheim Hills in my current house, which I bought after that for around $300,000.So I had developed or I had gained some equity and I had collected more down payment, and I sold that condo and then bought a house. And I’m still in this house today. So it’s a great entry point for condo buyers. The other types of buyers that buy condos are people who don’t want any maintenance. Maybe they travel a lot or maybe they go skiing every weekend or go to the beach. I’m in Orange County, so skiing from here is an hour away and the beach is 30 minutes away. So if you’re an outdoor kind of person, you don’t want the hard work and the upkeep of the house, so you may want to buy a condo, or you may be traveling a lot. So for security reasons, you may want to travel and your condo is safer than a house by itself because in the condos you have neighbors and they can keep an eye on it if you’re friendly with the neighbors and all that.
The other thing is, condo may be a second home. A lot of the people in Florida, what you call the empty nesters going from Canada and from New York, buy in places like Florida and even Palm Springs right here in Southern California. And that’s a second home or a vacation home. And you don’t want to buy a second home, but you may want to buy a condo as a second home or a getaway home. So those are some reasons that people buy condos. But again, I’m going to give you some advantages of buying a condo versus a home and it’s a great entry-level point for you to buy. So if you are considering buying, feel free to contact me. I’ll be glad to give you resources or chat with you and discuss what are the advantages and how to about going buying about condos in your neighborhood. By the way, I’m in Orange County. My name is Mike Patel, with First Team Real Estate. And if you are thinking about buying, I can refer you to an agent in your neighborhood. I belong to a network of agents and I have great agents that I can refer you to, so feel free to contact me
One of the biggest advantage of buying a condo versus buying a house is that it is in general much cheaper than buying a house. So condos are generally cheaper. If you look at the chart over here, it shows you that the condos are much cheaper than home. So that’s one way to get qualified and something that can be in your budget if you cannot afford a home at this time. The second advantage of buying a condo is that if you’re a busy person like most of the people are busy, usually, there’s two people working in the home, wife, and husband, or two brothers, two sisters, and you’re too busy for the upkeep and the maintenance and the yardwork and all those stuff to be done. Then you may want to buy a condo. So you spend less time on maintenance and upkeep and you can spend more time on your kids or your family or your pets, or if you’re working on your business, you have more time for that.
Also, one of the biggest advantages that I see and when I bought my condo is that I did not have to do any maintenance. And a lot of the exterior of the building, like paint and the patio and the streets and outdoor stuff, they had a tennis court, they had a pool. And when my kids were young, I took them to the pool every weekend, I took them to the tennis courts. But guess what? I never had to spend any time maintaining the pool or the spa or the tennis courts. So these are the little advantages. I could park right in front and the streets were maintained by the condominium. My roof, if something happened, my roof was covered, my fire insurance was covered by the homeowners association of the condominium. That was an advantage. Any fixing termite, outdoor fixing, I did not have to do it for eight years, I was there, never had to do any of that work. So that’s a big advantage.
And also the other advantage that I had is I had a lot of neighbors. So when I went out of town, which I had to travel back then, here and there, I had my neighbors take care of my unit. At least they kept an eye on it. And also because there were so many families right around there, and a lot of the first-time buyers were moving in, my kids were younger. There were a lot of other families. Younger families had kids. So our kids played together, went to school together, and it was a big advantage having them close together and having that friendship and companionship in the weekends and during the school. So that’s a big advantage versus if you stay in a home, which is like 400 or 500 yards away, then you don’t have that coziness as you have in the condos.
As I mentioned earlier, buying a condo is entry-level to home ownership if you cannot afford a home at this time. And one of the advantages I work with a lot of millennials, and a lot of them don’t want to buy a house because they want to just get started in home ownership. So what I’ve told many millennials, and when I sold homes 10-15 years ago to, at that time, 30 to 40-year-olds, I gave them what you call advice. I said, “Buy a condo.” And I should have taken my own advice, which is buy a condo, stay in it for three years to ten years, and then buy a house. But I also told them, “If you can keep the condo, don’t sell it. When you buy a house, maybe you can use the equity or the built-up equity that you have in the condo and buy a house. If you can qualify, buy a house and keep that condo as a rental.” And many of my clients have done that, even to this day.
When somebody calls me, say, “I want to buy a condo,” I tell them, “Great, don’t be shy. Don’t feel bad that you’re buying a condo. Buy it, stay in it for three to five years, buy a house and try to keep the condo. So you have a rental property.” and that’s a start to a rental property. The other advantage of condos is some of homeowners don’t want to buy a big house, they want to buy a condo. And I have some clients who live in a condo and wanted to live in a condo, and then they bought other condos from the down payment that they saved, and they used that as rental properties, and they still have it to this day. So the bottom line is you could have a choice or a forced choice to buy a condo, but it could be a lifestyle choice.
Depending on your lifestyle, your budget, your travel time, your work time, your weekend time. So it’s a lifestyle choice. And a lot of condos and a lot of buyers who live in condos are enjoying it. And as land becomes scarce, not only in Southern California but even towns like or states like Idaho and Montana and Arkansas, a lot of other states, they are pushing condos and townhomes and multifamily as lands get more compact, harder to get, more expensive to get. So there are more and more condos coming. It’s a lifestyle. And you can get condos that are old fashioned, single story, or you can get the condos which has high rises. And there are ten stories, 20 stories that’s a lifestyle like in New York.