Is Downsizing from a House to a Condo Right for You?

A upward angled photo of a tan condo under a partly cloudy skyAre you planning to retire soon? Are you an empty nester tired of all the property upkeep? Perhaps you’re looking to cash in on the housing market boom. Whatever the reason, you may be considering downsizing to a condo. Both condos and houses have their own set of benefits, and it’s important you take time to determine which living situation is best for you. Let’s discuss some of the key considerations to take into account before downsizing from a house to a condo.

Cost Benefits of Downsizing to a Condo

Downsizing from a house to a condo will save you a lot on monthly costs. Let’s break down a few of the areas where  you can expect savings:

  • Lower Mortgage/Cost: The National Association of Realtors reported the average price of a condo is roughly $45,000 less than the cost of a house.
  • Insurance and Tax Costs: In most cases, condo insurance is less expensive than homeowners insurance, and you’ll be paying less in property taxes than a single-family home.
  • Utility Costs: With less space to heat or cool, you can expect a decrease in your overall utility costs.

While you may think you’re losing some cost savings to homeowners’ association fees, you have to remember that these fees are used to cover exterior maintenance, which otherwise would require hours of your time and out-of-pocket expenses.

Personalization of a House vs. a Condo

In most cases, condos have much less opportunity for customization than a house. Unless your home is in a neighborhood with a strict homeowners association (HOA) or a town with restrictive ordinances, you’re not very limited by what you choose to do with the exterior of your home. You have more freedom to change your siding, erect a fence, or model your landscape. Condos, on the other hand, are more restrictive in how the property can be used or personalized. For instance, there may be rules about running a business from your home or subleasing the property to a renter.

The Leisure Time of Downsizing from a House to a Condo

Even a small house requires a considerable investment of time to maintain. Regular tasks such as yard work, driveway maintenance, and snow removal are completed by a third-party maintenance crew when you live in a condo. Condos may also allow you access to extra amenities such as a swimming pool, gym, or tennis court. The downside of owning a condo over a house is that if you enjoy entertaining guests outside or gardening, your options to do so may be limited.

Privacy and Social Life of a Condo

In most condos, you can expect to share walls with your neighbors, which may impact your level of privacy. On the other hand, you can’t be guaranteed you’ll receive the types of neighbors you want with a house, either. However, some condo developments can foster a sense of community if the HOA hosts social gatherings or activities for the residents. Condo living can be a great opportunity for those seeking congregation.

There is a lot to consider before downsizing from a house to a condo, but there is no wrong decision to be made. Whatever living situation resonates more with your lifestyle is what will be best for you. It’s also important that you support your final decision by investing in a homeowners or condo insurance policy that will safeguard your investment. At TJ Wood Insurance, our agents work with you to find homeowners insurance or condo insurance that suits your needs. If you’re in the market for a policy to cover your current or future home, contact us today.