Each of the several times you move in your life, you will have the option of buying a condominium or a single-family home. Which one is best?  The answer could vary move-to-move based upon your current needs and preferences.


Typically, one of the main variables in choosing a property is its price. For buyers preferring space, but on a limited budget, a condo may be the best choice to fill that need. By comparing a condo for $300,000 to an equally-priced single-family home in that same area, the difference should be readily apparent because a condo buyer does not pay for all the land beneath the building … unlike the buyer of a free-standing home.


If outdoor space and a large back yard are important, then a single-family may be the optimal solution. Some condos come with a bit of green space, but it’s often only minimal such as a patio or deck, and rarely, if ever, a large back yard. Of course, for owners preferring negligible upkeep and lawn care, this could be a benefit.

Maintenance and Design

Another consideration surrounds the changes you want to make in your home. Just as upkeep will differ for condo and free-standing home owners, the ability to freely change décor may also vary depending on the type of home you choose.  In condos, most exterior building maintenance will be handled by the condo association. In a single-family home, this work is an owner responsibility.

In condos, decorating decisions may additionally involve obtaining permission from the Board of Directors as to allowable flooring options or plumbing modifications amongst other potential changes you’d like. While this can also be the case for exterior colors of single-family homes located in a homeowner association, there is typically more freedom to do whatever you choose with your own free-standing home.


Both condos and single-family homes offer amenities. For example, there may be a city park in the neighborhood or other nearby facilities that you can easily enjoy with a single-family home. However, condos, due to common areas, frequently offer additional services such as a swimming pool, tennis courts, clubhouse, party room and/or an on-site gym.

Home buyers should weigh the benefits of each type of residence and determine which type of home better suits their current needs and lifestyle. Since most people move multiple times in their lives, focus on the option that now works best. For additional information on choosing the best home for your needs, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream 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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