May 31, 2013
Moving from a Condo to a Single Family Home? Five Things to Consider
For some people, condo life is the only way to live. You have the ability to customize the inside of the property to suit your style, but never have to concern yourself with outdoor maintenance.
However, there are downfalls of condo living. Not only are you connected to neighbors, which can lead to noise related issues, but you may not have nearly as much interior space as you need.
If you have soured on the idea of living in a condo, it may be time to consider a move to a single family home. This is a big decision, but when you are equipped with the right advice it is one you can make with confidence.
My first place was a condo. It was just around 1,000 square feet, with two bedrooms and plenty of space for entertaining both indoors and out. After three years of living in this home, I decided it was time to move on.
My neighbors were beginning to make more noise than ever before, I was outgrowing the space, and I was tired of digging my car out of the snow all winter long (no garage).
Just like many in this position, I was concerned about moving into a single family home. I was unsure of if I was ready for the maintenance, inside and out, while also concerned with the slightly higher mortgage payment.
While I made some mistakes along the way, everything worked out in the long run. I am still living in the same single family home, and I don’t often think about what it would be like to live in a condo again.
Condo to Single Family Transition
Every buyer is in a unique position. For this reason, every buyer has to follow his or her heart while making a decision based on their personal requirements and budget.
Of course, there are things you can do to ease the transition regardless of what position you find yourself in.
Here are five things to consider, allowing you to better plan for the move:
1. Bring on the outdoor maintenance. One of the biggest benefits of condo living is that you don’t normally have to maintain the yard around your home. Instead, there is an association (thanks to your HOA fee) that does this for you.
Are you ready to buy your own lawn equipment? Are you ready to put in the time necessary to keep your yard looking good?
2. More indoor space. While not always the case, most people moving from a condo to a single family home are looking for more space indoors.
Although this may be a good thing, for the most part, it also means more time spent cleaning and more money decorating each and every room.
3. Higher home insurance rate. This is one of those things that took me by surprise. When I was paying for insurance on my condo, it set me back about $15/month. When I moved into my single family home, this jumped up to roughly $60/month.
This was not the end of the world, but it was an increase nonetheless.
4. Higher property taxes. I knew what I was getting into here, but it is something that many people overlook.
Before you move into a single family home, make sure you know what you will be paying in taxes. When you add this to your mortgage and home insurance, you may find that you are spending more than you would like.
5. Lonely feeling at first. In a condo, you always have people around you. In fact, they are right on the other side of your walls. In a single family residence this is not the case. For some, this is a lonely feeling at first. The good thing is that this soon wears off, especially as you begin to enjoy the privacy.
Note: while these five details pertain to most situations, they don’t hold true across the board.
If you are ready to move from your condo into a single family home, it is important to understand what this decision entails and how your life is going to change both personally and financially.
When you take the five details above into consideration, you will feel better about the decision you are making and what the future holds as far as your living situation is concerned.