To find the perfect home, some homebuyers debate whether to purchase a house or a condo.  For some, this is an easy decision given factors such as children, location, money or space, but for others there isn't always a black or white answer.

Each choice has its advantages and disadvantages. Consider these Pros and Cons:

     Traditional Freestanding House

Traditional homes provide greater freedom over decisions relating to updates, improvements, additions and changes.  They eliminate most worries regarding consent from others with exception of any local homeowner’s association regulations. This permits greater flexibility with regard to your choices since neighbors generally have enough space between them to afford that luxury.

Alternately, these freedoms come with a price, primarily the required effort and commitment to maintenance that accompanies homeownership. The costs of upkeep are fully the responsibility of the owner and, many times, performed by the owner.  At a minimum, this is planned, arranged and paid for by the owner.  So there is both a financial commitment and a time commitment as well. Utility bills may also run higher due to the typically larger square footage of freestanding homes.


Condos generally appeal to folks with a bit of an itch for urban-style living where tighter proximity to neighbors is generally accompanied by convenient and nearby access to stores, restaurants, sports facilities, transportation and other amenities. Condos can also be an attractive choice for those seeking low-maintenance living in a quest to find additional free time each day. Since condo association fees usually cover exterior concerns such as building maintenance, lawn care/landscaping and snow removal, eliminating all these responsibilities frees up more time to enjoy life.

On top of mortgage principle and interest, taxes and insurance costs, an additional monthly fee is the price paid for that freedom. Occasional one-time bills may also affect overall charges above the set monthly assessments.  Lastly, because condo living means neighbors in close proximity, it can also mean that an inconsiderate neighbor may do irritating things, intentionally or unintentionally.  Association rules and regulations set out guidelines to follow, but how well residents adhere to them or how well they are enforced by the association and management can determine how disruptive others may or may not be.

Choose More Pros than Cons

There are pros and cons to every situation.  Determine which cons you can accept and which pros you most look forward to enjoying. This way your best choice will be based on your lifestyle choice.  Either a freestanding home or a condo can be perfect for you.  Contact me today for additional information regarding freestanding homes or attached housing including townhomes and condominiums in your desired area. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.


Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
[email protected]

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

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