Buyers can choose between a traditional home or an apartment when buying a home. Aside from the location, the type of property is one of the most important decisions you need to make. Homeowners buy the home and the land it sits on, while condo ownership includes only the living space within the condo unit and part of the common areas of the condo building. There are pros and cons to both types of housing, and lifestyle and cost can help determine if a single-family home or apartment is one that is more suited to your needs.

However, there are potential downsides to living in apartments and townhomes. Condos and townhomes can be expensive to own, especially condos, and depending on how an individual HOA works, they may or may not feel worth the money spent. Of course, these are rules and regulations that you do not have to adhere to if you live in a single-family home. Because you’re in a shared building, living in an apartment complex can sometimes be similar to renting an apartment. When you buy an apartment, you are taking possession of a unit in a larger building or development.

That’s because apartments have more shared spaces and often some unique amenities, such as a gym or rooftop barbecue, that require more money to cover. Water, cable, or DSL Internet service, some insurance coverages, and other utilities or utilities may also be included in an apartment’s monthly HOA rates. Townhomes often also have HOA fees, but they are generally much lower and often only cover a small range of services, such as waste service and lawn care. Another unique feature of condo living is that most condos have a board of directors that oversees how the condo community operates and is maintained.

It is very important not to adopt anything about a particular HOA until all the documents have been read, as this is an area where an owner can save a lot of money. Fees, high or low, are not a consistently clear indicator of perfect ten condo whether an HOA is good or not. Some apartments and townhomes may have low HOA rates that ultimately mean few services are offered or, worse, the services offered are not good, making monthly or annual costs wasteful expenses.

And everything you share, including the roof over your head, landscaping, parking facilities, and amenities like a pool or gym, is maintained through the cost of your homeowners association. That is the money that you do not have to divide individually to keep the house in order. It also covers costs for property management, repair and maintenance of buildings, condominium staff salaries, and any services that can be included. When you buy an apartment or townhome, you must pay monthly fees to a homeowners association.

Before deciding which option is right for you, it’s a good idea to identify your housing priorities and determine how much time and money you should spend on property maintenance and repairs. There are times when a building with only three or four apartments can have all its units on the market at the same time. An investor who buys all of these units doesn’t have to pay a condo fee to someone else because they’ve basically become the partnership. Are you made to own an apartment, or is it better to buy a single-family home? Some people love living in a condo community, while others discover over time that they would be happier with a little more privacy and freedom. You may have to pay HOA fees if you buy a home in a newer development, even if you’re not buying an apartment.

Condo and co-op buildings are generally among the safest and most hassle-free ways to own. You get the comfort (no patio!), the community (so many neighbors!) and the shared amenities of an apartment lifestyle, but with the benefit of building the net worth of the home. To learn about the different types of homes available to you, check out our guide to townhomes, and if you’re ready to embark on your home buying journey today, get started with Rocket Mortgage®. Sometimes apartments can be harder to sell depending on the neighborhood they’re in and the HOA they may be a part of. If an HOA is poorly managed, it can be difficult to find a buyer for your apartment.

Condominiums share common areas with all other units in their community; These common areas can include a gym, swimming pool and well-kept gardens. However, unlike an apartment, condo owners pay a monthly fee to keep these amenities running and in good condition. In addition, village houses generally have homeowners’ associations. Homeowners pay a monthly fee to cover insurance and maintenance of community common areas, as well as for services such as garbage collection and snow removal. Some HOAs enforce the community’s aesthetic rules, such as the permitted colors of the exterior paint and the types of fences that homeowners can install.