Clearwater Mortgage Blog

If you’re relocating to Clearwater, FL, or planning to buy a new home, you may be wondering if you should purchase a condominium or a house. This choice has a lot to do with your lifestyle and what’s important to you. Depending on the location, condos can be less expensive. But not always. Condos are definitely easier to maintain, which can be a considerable advantage if you’re a snowbird. Let’s look at some of the other differences:

Single Family Homes Retain Their Value

In most cases, a house will keep its value better than a condo. That is unless you’re talking beachfront property. Even though houses cost more upfront, they can be a better investment for these two reasons:

Depending upon the location and neighborhood, in the Tampa Bay area, it’s generally easier to sell a house. It's because they’re in higher demand than condominiums and townhomes.

Growing families want a house with a yard for their kids and pets. At Clearwater Mortgage about 20% of our borrowers are purchasing a condo. That's compared to the other 80% going for the house, picket fence, and room to grow!

Single Family Homes are Easier to Finance

Lenders love stand-alone houses. This is because the homeowner has more control of the property and so would the lender. In most cases, there aren't any association rules.  Plus, the borrower owns the home and the land. Whereas with a condo, the owner only owns the inside walls.

There are more choices for mortgages. For example conventional, FHA, VA loans are all available for houses. Whereas FHA seldom lends on a condo unless it’s on an approved condo list.  And the approved list in Pinellas County is short!

Interest rates can be lower. But of course, this depends on quite a few things. For example credit history, cash down, and age and condition of the property. If you’re comparing your options, give Clearwater Mortgage a call at 727-259-2900.  We’ll be happy to run the numbers for you.

Condominiums are Much Easier to Maintain

If you want low maintenance, take a look at either condos or townhomes. You’ll have more time to spend at the beach!

No more mowing the lawn or replacing siding, windows, and roofs. Lower maintenance is a huge advantage especially if you’re a snowbird. Many of our borrowers come from New Jersey, Canada, Michigan, and Ohio. Like most retirees, they just want to have fun in the sun, and that doesn’t include a lot of chores.

But, even though there’s less to do around the house, you still may have added fees for upkeep. So if you’re considering a condo, it’s important to make sure it’s in excellent condition before you take the leap. You don’t want to buy and then find out you have to help pay for a new roof or an expensive swimming pool upgrade.

If Privacy is Important – There’s No Place Like a Home

Picture yourself surrounded by neighbors – close by, in fact just on the other side of the wall. If this gives you the shivers, a house is a much better choice. But, if you enjoy having lots of friends and activities, consider a condo. The condo associations in Tampa Bay are among the best in the US for creating a sense of community.

One good way to make a decision is to visit the complexes and communities you’re considering. Make sure you stop by during different times and days. The same thing goes for neighborhoods – it’s essential to make sure you’ll be happy where ever you buy.  So, get to know your neighbors first.

What about Association and Condo Fees in Tampa Bay?

Even with single-family dwellings, you can have association fees. If you’re interested in a property, ask your realtor if there are any association fees.

  • When purchasing a condominium or townhome, you will have monthly costs so be sure to include those in your budget. Some fees can be quite high, this is especially true if you’re looking at a beach property.
  • No matter what you decide on, give Clearwater Mortgage a call today at 727-259-2900, and we’ll go over your options.

Posted by Carol Youmans on October 17th, 2019 2:22 PM