Residential properties are one of the most reliable assets for your investment portfolio. While real estate value moves in cycles, you can expect your home to appreciate over time. It's a proven way to protect your money against inflation.

Buying your own home means you don't have to pay rent. Instead, you build equity over time that can serve you well in the later stages of your life. These are only some of the many benefits of owning a home.

Buying a new property is a big financial decision that can significantly impact your budget and lifestyle. Therefore, you must do your research, prioritize your needs, and determine which option is best for you.

One of the most important factors to determine is the type of property that you should aim for. Should you invest in a single-family modern home or opt for a condo? No matter what you’re looking for, the Dallas real estate market has plenty of options available.

Fortunately for you, we're here to help. We'll walk you through both options by looking at the pros and cons of each to help you make an informed choice. But before we get started, let's check out the key differences between a condo and a house.

Understanding the difference…

In real estate, a house is referred to as a single-family residential property. It's a free-standing residence with four outer walls not connected to any other structure. The homeowner also owns the land the residential property sits on.

On the other hand, a condo is more like an apartment complex. The homeowner only buys the interior living space. These private residences come with shared common areas and amenities, including garages, an indoor swimming pool, laundry rooms, and more.

Now that you know the difference between these two property options, let's dive into the pros and cons to give you more insights.

Buying A Condo

First-time homebuyers are often inclined to buy a  condo over a traditional home. A condo is usually maintained by the Homeowners Association (HOA) and has numerous facilities that attract many people.

PROS

Amenities

Most condos provide shared facilities to their residents. The charges are typically included in the HOA fee which provides an amenity-rich lifestyle. These amenities may include a community clubhouse, swimming pool, gym, steam rooms, hot tubs, park areas, and more.

It allows residents to live a comfortable and luxurious lifestyle. They can enjoy these perks without having to commute to public facilities.

No repairs and maintenance

Residents don't need to worry about any repairs or maintenance outside their front door. The exterior of a condo is both owned and maintained by the HOA. It's an attractive proposition for people who live a busy lifestyle as they don't have to worry about mowing the lawn, pruning trees, cleaning gutters, raking leaves, etc. It can save them a lot of energy and time. They can spend weekends unwinding by the pool or watching Netflix rather than worrying about home maintenance.

Easy upkeep

While the HOA takes care of all the exterior repair and maintenance, residents may need to take care of minor repairs and maintenance inside the property. Living in a condo makes it a lot easier. Most HOAs help residents connect with professionals who provide cost-effective and reliable service.

Furthermore, homeowner's insurance for condos costs a lot less compared to a single-family home. So, residents don't need to worry about costly repairs and replacement costs.

What's more?

Condo complexes are usually tight-knit residential communities that allow residents an excellent opportunity to form social connections with neighbors. It allows residents to establish a level of intimacy and understanding that's hard to create when living in a single-family home.

Moreover, the 24/7 security, the around-the-clock staff, and the sense of community make living in a condo a safe and secure experience.

CONS

HOA fee

Condo residents must pay an HOA fee every month that covers the costs of maintaining the building's common areas and the amenities offered to the residents. The fees can range anywhere between a couple of hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the location and facilities given to the residents.

However, it can potentially save residents hundreds and thousands of dollars in costly repairs, replacement, and maintenance expenses.

Privacy

Condos don't offer as much privacy as single-family homes. Residents live in close proximity to their neighbors and must share common areas and facilities. If you enjoy social interactions, that's more like a pro than a con. But if you lead an introverted lifestyle, then it may not be the best option.

Condo living is quite similar to apartment living. If you have good neighbors, then you can always work out a way to maximize your privacy.

Buying a house

Now let's talk about single-family residential properties. Owning a home gives people the flexibility to perform renovations, host parties, and literally make any upgrades without any trouble.

PROS

Privacy

Let's pick up from right where we left of… privacy. Houses offer more privacy and space. Homeowners don't have to share their amenities with neighbors. For instance, if your home has a swimming pool, you can swim in complete privacy. You can host parties and maintain a comfortable distance with everyone.

Homeowners have control over who comes and goes from their property. If that's important to you, then buying a house might be a better option.

Flexibility

Buying a house gives you the flexibility to renovate and upgrade to create the home and lifestyle of your dreams. For instance, you can tear down the kitchen wall to create an open space layout, add a firepit and patio to the yard, and make all sorts of modifications.

Homeowners usually don't need to go through the extensive approval processes for any home improvement project like condo residents. So, you can redesign your space the way you like it.

Space

A private residential house is larger and more spacious. Unlike condos, homeowners have plenty of square footage to work with. For example, you have a private yard and personal outdoor space, so you can enjoy both indoor and outdoor living, especially when you buy a mid-century modern home.

You can build a patio in the backyard to add more living space. In many suburban areas of Dallas, you can even build a guest house on your property.

CONS

Home maintenance

A residential house owner is responsible for taking care of the maintenance and upkeep of their home, unlike condos where the HOA handles most of these tasks. From repairing the cracks in the concrete to ensuring the driveway is in good condition, homeowners must perform all the home repair and maintenance duties.

A general rule of thumb is to save one percent of your home’s value for home maintenance. A good homeowner's insurance policy can protect you against large financial expenses.

Higher utility bills

Since houses are often larger than condos, and the utilities are not shared, this can result in higher utility costs per month. However, homeowners can cut down their energy consumption by installing energy-efficient appliances.

Now that we have covered the pros and cons of condos and houses, let's talk about some additional factors that you should keep in mind:

Location

Location. Location. Location.

This mantra is famous in the real estate industry for a reason. A good location is crucial for your investment. While you can find hundreds of properties listed on real estate websites, not all will be a match for your budget and requirements.

Discuss your preferences and lifestyle needs with your Realtor in advance to narrow down your search.

Do you plan to start a family? How far do you want to commute for work? Do you like to host parties? All these factors will significantly narrow down your options and help you determine whether a condo or a home is a better option for you.

An illustration

One of our clients told us that they want to move to a neighborhood in downtown Dallas because of the wide range of restaurants, museums, and other attractions. We asked them how often they find themselves in this neighborhood, and they said just once a week.

The client's workplace was far from the Downtown area, which would make their commute harder. Also, they didn't have any family or friends in that area, so we recommended a more suitable neighborhood that will be more convenient for their lifestyle. 

Long-term plan

Your long-term plan will also have a significant impact on your property buying decision. You must think about how quickly you're going to outgrow your space. A one-room condo downtown next to bars may seem an ideal option when you live alone.

However, when you have a significant other, your pet, and are expecting to have a baby in the next few years, you will outgrow your 800 sq. ft. very quickly. Conversely, if your kids moved out and you want to downsize, a condo is a more appealing option.

You must consider these factors when deciding between a condo and a house. It will save you from buying a property, realizing it was a bad fit, and reselling it a year or so later, which can be quite a hassle.

Preferences

The decision between buying a condo and a home largely depends on your preferences. HOA fees may seem unnecessary to many people, especially if they live a busy lifestyle and don't use the facilities available to residents.

Moreover, some people like to renovate and upgrade or want some sort of outdoor space like a patio, which may rule out the condo option. Another common deal-breaker for many people is the lack of privacy due to shared walls.

However, people who prefer a low-maintenance, lock-and-leave lifestyle may prefer a condo as all the maintenance work will be taken care of. Many people who like to interact and socialize with neighbors find condos a better fit. In a nutshell, it boils down to your preferences.

Final word

Buying a new property is not about seeing tons of properties to determine what works for you. It's more of a process of elimination, as you establish your criteria and take suggestions from your Realtor to reverse engineer your way to make an informed choice. However, you should also remember to be flexible.

Don't be shy about checking out a few condos that match many of your specifications just because you made up your mind to buy a single family home. Once you’ve established your deal-breakers and needs, you'll have a pretty good idea of what you want. Home buying can be an overwhelming and tedious process. A competent and experienced Realtor can make it easier.

Work with a professional real estate company that gives you access to exclusive listings of top condos and modern homes available in Dallas. You can check out images and use the virtual tour feature to learn about different condos and houses from the comfort of your living room. When you work with Dallas Contemporary Homes, we create a custom tailored strategy to help you find the best housing option.

Your Realtor will use their expertise and network to simplify the home-buying process and assist you in deciding between buying a condo or a house. We hope that this guide will help you make an informed decision. If you're looking for a professional Realtor in Dallas, we can help!

Dallas Contemporary Homes is your trusted real estate resource with exclusive listings of the top property deals available in the Dallas real estate market. We offer personalized real estate buying and selling services to help you find the perfect home and get the best possible deal.