House, Townhome, or Condo?

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House, Townhome, or Condo?

The real estate market offers many different housing options. Depending on your life stage, financial resources, and where you are on your financial journey, one type might work better than others. When choosing between houses, townhomes, or condos, it can be difficult to decide what’s best for you. The better you understand each type of home, the wiser choices you can make when buying your first, second, or even final home.

Where to Start

One of the most crucial details to consider when choosing between a condo, townhome, and a house is what upfront and ongoing costs will be involved.

Condos often have the lowest initial costs. However, they also tend to have much higher home owner association (HOA) fees to cover maintenance costs of exterior spaces and common areas.

Townhomes often cost less than houses, but you still have many homeownership expenses, such as maintenance, repairs, upkeep, property taxes, and HOA fees. These fees can easily exceed those of homes that do not require HOA fees.

Houses are ideal matches for couples starting families or who are looking for more room to grow. They tend to require higher upfront costs than most townhomes and condos, and owners are fully responsible for maintenance, repairs, and upkeep. On the flip side, a traditional house offers more privacy than the other options.

Comparing Types of Homes

Condos are excellent choices for first-time owners as well as those who are mature or elderly and looking to downsize their space and maintenance commitments. They offer maintenance and upkeep of the buildings, lawn, and public areas occur on your behalf. The cost of a no-maintenance lifestyle could be included in HOA or amenity fees. Be mindful to not overlook the costs of the condo association and other fees that go along with your condo lifestyle. Condos may also have complex amenities, such as a pool and tennis court.

Townhomes are typically multi-level structures. They can be a good option for small families and couples who want a little more privacy than condos provide. They also require a deeper personal commitment to things like maintenance, repairs, taxes, and other fees than condos may. Many townhomes have small front and backyards to be maintained. Like condos, townhome communities may offer amenities like a clubhouse, pool, fitness center, or tennis courts.

Houses are a better choice for people who are concerned about space to spread out in and privacy from neighbors. You do not have to worry about neighbors below your floor, above your ceiling, or on the other side of your walls. Houses will require more maintenance and upkeep for external things such as your lawn, driveway, or roof, as well as internal maintenance for things like water heaters and AC.

If you are looking to the future, a house maintains its value best. Keep that in mind and choose the option that works best with your financial goals.

Making a Decision

It may feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders when you make your home buying decision, most mortgages are 15 or 30 years. However, you have the option of upgrading (or downsizing) into a different home as your needs change and the situation warrants.

Consider your financial wellbeing against your needs and select the option that offers the most opportunities for growth, future sales, and matches the lifestyle you are looking for.


  • There are many types of homes available for buyers today.
  • Choosing the right home for right now is sometimes the best choice.
  • All home options have potential benefits and disadvantages.
  • Some homes retain, or grow, their value better than others.
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