If you are preparing to buy a new property, you may be closely reviewing the many listings available in your local area that fall within your desired sales price range. In many markets, this includes both single family homes and condos, and you may be wondering which option is ideal for your needs and budget. There are key differences between these two property types, and a closer look at the pros and cons of each option may help you to determine which type of property you should focus your attention on.


The Proximity of Your Neighbors

A single family home generally sits on its own plot of land, and there are usually several feet of land surrounding the home in all directions before the property line. Likewise, neighbors usually have several feet of land around their home in all directions before the property line. This means that single family homes may be spaced at least eight or ten feet or more apart from each other, and some may have 20 feet or more between homes. With a condo, you may be in an apartment-like community with neighbors immediately on the other sides of your walls in most directions. Some condos only have neighbors on the left or right, and you may not have neighbors above or below you. In most cases, living in a condo makes it easier to hear noises from neighbors because of the proximity. This can affect your privacy level and the ambiance inside the condo.


The Backyard

Most single family homes have at least a small backyard, and many have a rather sizable backyard. This outdoor space can be used for growing a garden, entertaining or simply giving kids and pets a private, enclosed area to run and play in. You may even have room for a private pool or outdoor kitchen. Condos usually do not have a dedicated backyard space. However, some condo units may have a very small fenced space. These types of condos can be challenging to find, so your property options may be severely limited if you are looking for a backyard with a condo unit. Remember that many condo communities and single family home communities have parks and an area pool for residents to enjoy.


Exterior Home Maintenance

Another important difference between condos and single family homes relates to exterior property maintenance. With a condo, you only own the interior of the structure, and the community owns and maintains the exterior. This usually means that the condo association will pay for exterior painting, siding repairs, landscaping fees and more. When you own your own home, all of these tasks are your responsibility. While owner’s association dues may be somewhat higher in a condo, you may find that it is easier and more affordable overall to take care of a condo than a single family home. Furthermore, if you are a very busy person or if you are not physically able to care for your home’s exterior, a condo may be a better option to consider. Your ability to maintain your home's exterior can directly affect property value. Therefore, if you are uncertain about your abilities, buying a condo should be seriously considered.


Condos and single family homes may be closely related, but you can see that there are considerable differences between these two property types as well. Everything from your budget and lifestyle to your need for privacy, yard space and more should be considered as you make a decision about which property type to narrow your search to. By turning your attention to these points, you can make a buying decision that you will love.

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