Condo vs. House: Figuring Out What Kind Of Home To Buy In Orlando

The Vue on Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando

You know you want to move to Orlando, but what kind of home makes the most sense for you? Here's what you need to know about condo vs. house in Florida.

Condo vs. House: Figuring Out What Kind Of Home To Buy In Orlando

Whether you're moving to Florida as a retiree or for a new job, you're not alone. Did you know that in 2018, more people moved to Florida than any other state in the US? Florida, and especially Orlando, is the place to be right now.

Beautiful weather, almost 250 sunny days a year, and easy access to beaches or amusement parks? Who wouldn't want to move to Orlando?

Once you've made the decision to move, you need to figure out housing. If you're going to purchase, you might be debating between a condo vs. a house. If you find yourself torn, keep reading for some tips to figure out which is best for you.

What Is a Condo?

Before we get into the pros and cons of each, let's make sure we're all on the same page with what a condo is.

With a condo, you own the unit and everything inside, but you don't own the building that it's in. The homeowner's association, or HOA, owns the building and the grounds.

Some condos are in high-rise buildings, some are in much smaller buildings with only a few units, and even others are stand-alone units as part of a larger community.

Why Buy a Condo?

There are some pretty compelling reasons to buy a condo in Orlando.

    • They are cheaper than single-family homes
    • Maintenance is minimal (you are usually only responsible for the interior; exterior maintenance is paid for from your HOA fees)
    • They are secure
    • You may have great views, especially in a high-rise building
    • You will often have access to amenities like a pool, golf course, fitness center, and a clubhouse
    • Utility bills are lower, as surrounding units keep your condo cooler in summer and warmer in the winter
    • There is the ability to be part of a social environment with other residents in the building

If your budget is smaller, a condo might be an excellent option for you. A condo could give you access to downtown or waterfront areas that you might not be able to afford otherwise.

Condos are also great options if you travel often and don't want to have to worry about leaving your home for long periods of time. If you're retired, a condo is worry-free. No more lawn care or home maintenance.

Why You Shouldn't Buy a Condo

For every reason to buy a condo, there's a reason why you shouldn't buy one.

    • Privacy is reduced since walls and common spaces are shared
    • Less storage space
    • HOA fees can be high and can increase
    • Rules are strict about home improvements, pets, noise, etc.
    • Decisions have to be voted on by the community

If you're worried about sharing common spaces or sharing walls with others, a condo might not be the right choice for you. Although the HOA will typically have strict rules, you'll have to decide if you want to be the one to go to the HOA about a neighbor.

If you have a disagreement with one of your condo neighbors, remember that it's a lot harder to avoid someone when you share common spaces and an entrance into the building.

Why You Should Buy a House

If the thought of sharing walls, ceilings, and common space and dealing with an HOA doesn't sound like your cup of tea, there are a lot of options for buying houses in Orlando as well. There are obvious benefits to buying a house rather than a condo.

    • More living and storage space
    • Much more privacy and no shared walls or spaces
    • You might have an HOA, but the rules are less strict
    • No (or lower) HOA fees
    • Don't need HOA approval to make most changes
    • Outdoor space with privacy

The benefits of buying a house in Orlando are no different than buying a house most anywhere in the country. A single-family home is simply more private, usually bigger, and feels more of your own than a condo.

Why You Shouldn't Buy a House

Just like there are reasons you shouldn't buy a condo, there are compelling reasons why a house isn't a great idea either.

    • More expensive
    • More maintenance and upkeep
    • Fewer amenities
    • Insurance premiums are higher
    • Utility bills are higher
    • Less of a social environment

If you're considering a house, you should ask yourself how long you plan to be there. Most experts agree that you should live in a house at least 5 years before selling, so if you don't plan to be there that long, it might not be the best option.

Condo vs. House: What Will It Be?

Ultimately, you need to think about what your needs and desires are. What your budget is, how much space you need, your desire and ability to do things like yard maintenance, home repairs, or pool upkeep. How much you want to do will play a big role in your decision.

If you're buying the property in preparation for retirement, think about the future.

Do you want to have to worry about mowing the lawn or cleaning the gutters in your senior years? Do you want to deal with a green pool if you mess up the chemicals?

Final Thoughts

Whatever you decide, there are some great benefits to living in Orlando. As you prepare for your move, check out our guide to downtown Orlando and our general Orlando moving guide.

Once you make your decision, get in touch. Our agents can help you through the buying process from start to finish. If you're still debating a condo vs. a house, they can help you make that decision too.

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