The choice between buying a single-family home or a condo in Boston isn’t small. There are certainly benefits to both, but also reasons to choose a house instead of a condo or a condo instead of a house. While there’s really no wrong answer, it’s important to understand the differences between buying a condo and buying a single-family home in Boston.
What is a Condo?
Before we go any further with the debate between buying a single-family home or a condo in Boston, it’s important to define both.
A condo is a bit of a hybrid between an apartment and a single-family house. The style of living is very similar to apartment living, but you own the unit instead of renting it. You will share walls with neighbors, just as you would with an apartment, but the turnover in the building will be less.
What is a Single-Family Home?
The easiest way to define a single-family home is to think of a property where there are no common walls. You don’t share any walls with anybody else. Often, single-family homes also have some land, along with a private entrance.
One of the reasons home buyers consider buying a condo over a single-family home is their desire to live in an urban area. Typically, buyers think of single-family homes as more suburban and condos as more urban. However, this isn’t always the case.
Comparing a Single-Family Home to a Condo in Boston
With the cost of condos in Boston soaring to new heights, it’s no longer an easy comparison when shopping for single-family homes compared to a condo in Boston. It used to be, a first-time home buyer might choose a condo because of a significant price difference, but this isn’t as much the case today.
So many new developments have popped up throughout the city and the stats show condos costing just as much or very close to the same as single-family homes. With the price gap becoming smaller than it once was, the decision is made in a different way by buyers in Boston.
Benefits of Buying a Boston Condo
Considering the benefits of buying a condo may help you decide between the two. Condo living isn’t for everybody, but neither is single-family home living.
The biggest benefit for many when it comes to owning a condo is the lack of yard work or outdoor work you will have to do. With a condo, you don’t have to mow the yard or do any landscaping. You will pay condominium association dues, which will take care of the majority of your maintenance needs.
Since you don’t have a yard or a driveway, you won’t have to mow the grass or shovel any snow. This can be rather appealing for those looking to own a home, but not handle the regular maintenance of the home.
Another benefit to buying a condo in Boston is the amenities you may gain. Not all condo buildings offer amenities, but some offer fitness centers, lounges, outdoor decks, swimming pools, and more. It depends on the building you choose, but it’s hard to find the same amenities in a Boston neighborhood without finding a planned community in a suburb.
Condos also come with a built-in community. While this may also be true of single-family homes in the right neighborhood, condo owners still live closer to each other and often share common spaces within the building. This can be a great benefit for those looking to know their neighbors.
Benefits of Buying a Boston Single-Family Home
One of the biggest benefits you gain when you choose a single-family house in Boston is the privacy you’ll have. While a condo allows you to own, you don’t get to choose the neighbors in the building and you share walls, hallways, and other common spaces with them. It provides you with more privacy compared to a condo.
You will also have some land you can call your own. This does mean mowing the grass and shoveling the snow, but if you like the idea of having a yard for your pets or children, a single-family home may be a better choice.
In addition, some condo buildings are underfunded and the regular maintenance may not get done. This happens when owners fall behind on dues and have less of an impact in a larger condo building.
With the right single-family home in Boston, you won’t have to pay any association dues. Condos come with association dues and so do neighborhoods with an HOA. However, you can choose a Boston neighborhood without an HOA and you won’t have to worry about this additional cost.
There are several pros and cons of buying a single-family home or a condo in Boston. As stated before, there isn’t a right answer. Making the decision depends on what you want out of your home and where you prefer to live in Boston.