Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

Prioritize trade-offs in house vs.condo decision

by Allison Simson

Q: Allison:  We are looking to buy property in Summit County, which  is better to buy - a house or condo/townhouse?

A: Good question!  According to Tara Nicholle Nelson of Inman News, in the house vs. condo or townhouse battle, the analysis of which type to buy is not as simple as "better" or "worse," per se.  However, there are trade-offs to each, and in the final analysis of which property type to buy, own and live in, your decision boils down to a matter of fit between your lifestyle, personality and finances, and the key characteristics of the property type you select.

The most common concern homebuyers bring up when making the "condo or no" decision are around homeowners associations: the monthly dues they charge, and the restrictions they impose.

While many people think paying any sort of monthly dues on top of your mortgage and property taxes is nuts, these dues often cover expenses that a single-family homeowner would have to pay out as individual line items to various vendors, like garbage collection, hazard insurance and maintenance of the building(s) over time.

Another common "pros and cons" comparison when it comes to the house-vs.-condo debate involves the commonly cited advantage of attached, HOA-style housing, in that it eliminates the biggest portion of the home maintenance single-family homeowners have to do. This is especially true when it comes to the buildings' exterior, landscaping, and maintaining big ticket items like foundations, boilers, roofs and windows.

Unit owners don't have to do that sort of work, but the trade-off is a different set of responsibilities that owners of non-HOA properties don't have: the work of participating in an HOA. That means attending board meetings, reading meeting minutes, staying informed about HOA issues, and voting. If you don't participate, you can't be surprised when the HOA levies surprise fees and assessments because expenses weren't appropriately anticipated or budgeted.

And here's another set of trade-offs: privacy vs. communal living. In a detached home, you have as much privacy from your neighbors as possible in light of the architecture and lot situation of the property you choose. In an HOA situation, you might share walls, ceilings, floors, parking areas and yards -- and, depending on the construction standards of the property, possibly also smells and sounds -- with your neighbors; as well, you definitely share some financial interests with your neighbors in a condo scenario.

Along with owning and living in a communal setting comes the obligation to abide by its rules. It is precisely the extensive covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) and community rules and regulations that make a community of relative strangers run smoothly, which makes some prospective buyers bristle at the potential loss of autonomy and ability to freely choose your own home improvements, among other things.

It's not bizarre for condo rules to limit things like your flooring choice (because hard floors can create noise pollution for lower units); what you can put out on your patio; and the size, number and type of pets you can own.

The flip side? The community, together, possesses economies of scale and can collectively afford property amenities you could never afford to have in your own private property, from doormen to parking garages, pools to community centers, and even including business centers and parks.

So, my answer is: You decide. Do you value privacy over amenities? Ease of maintenance over independence? Ask yourself what your priorities are, and go see both detached homes and condo/townhouse properties in your area. The right personal choice becomes clear to most buyers very early in their house hunts.

With that said, I do have one caveat about condos and townhomes: There are a number of HOAs that are experiencing deep financial crises, post-recession, from the dues they charge being viewed as a low-priority obligation by homeowners struggling to pay their bills. As a result, some HOAs are increasing dues on all homeowners to cover their expenses, and levying special assessments to cover high-priced upgrades and repairs that urgently need doing.

Increasingly, in a large number of HOAs across the country, the units are unable to be resold due to the HOA's financial issues, rendering it impossible for prospective buyers to obtain mortgage financing -- when buyers can't buy, home values plummet.

If you decide you like condo living, talk with your real estate broker or agent about finding a unit in a healthy HOA -- buying into one that is struggling can dramatically impact the value of your home and the ability to resell it over the long term.  Inman News 2011.

For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Allison is a long time local in Summit County. Summit Real Estate – The Simson/Nenninger Team is located at the Dillon Ridge Marketplace. Allison’s long-time residency and years of real estate experience can help you make the most of any buying or selling situation. She’s a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), the highest designation awarded to a Realtor in the residential sales field.  Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.  Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit www.SummitHomeValue.com   

What Your Money Can Buy ~ Beautiful Single Family Home

by Kelie Gray

Beautiful Single Family Home with Great Views & Location!

1151 Rainbow Drive in Silverthorne could be your next primary residence in Summit County, or your family getaway in the mountains! This beautifully maintained single family home boasts 4 bedrooms and 2 ½ bathrooms and over 2000 square feet. Built in 2004, this home is light and bright with a ton of windows to let all the sunlight in. An open floor plan with a large kitchen and family room has nice finishes and hardwood floors throughout the home.  Vaulted ceilings, deep closets and a crawlspace with additional storage are just a few of the other wonderful things you will find here.

Mountain living at it’s finest continues outdoors with an almost ¼ acre lot with very nice landscaping.  Most of the trees and flower beds are on an irrigation system, making the maintenance here very easy.  Relax on the large deck and soak in the jaw dropping Gore Range views to the west!  This home is in a great neighborhood that is walking distance to the Rec Center, Rainbow Park and the new Rec Path along the Blue River.  Homeowners also have access to the nearby pond for boating and fishing.  Store all of your toys for the walks to the pond, park and bike path in the attached 2 car garage.

This home is listed for sale at $560,000.00 and $269/square foot. Compared to other single family homes in Silverthorne sold in the past year that were built after 2000, between 3-5 bedrooms and less than 3000 square feet, 1151 Rainbow Drive is listed below the median sale price of those comparable homes at $281/square foot. Don’t wait until interest rates creep up and up and inventory levels go down, give your broker or Summit Real Estate a call to see this roomy and bright home today! 

    

 

Looking to Buy?  Not ready to speak to a broker?  Visit www.SummitHomeBuyer.com

Meet Lynn Sustad, Kelie Gray and Anna Willis, the Buyer Specialist Team at Summit Real Estate-The Simson / Nenninger Team.  Devoted to working only with Buyers, these Specialists tour hundreds of homes and commit to having the most comprehensive knowledge in the market.  A member of the Buyer Specialist Team can be reached at (800) 262.8442 or (970) 468.6800, www.SummitRealEstate.com or email us at [email protected]

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

Syndication

Categories

Archives

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of Summit Real Estate Real Estate
Summit Real Estate
The Bright Choice
330 Dillon Ridge Way, Suite 10
Dillon CO 80435
970-468-6800
800-262-8442
Fax: 970-468-2195

Allison Simson, Owner/Broker, is a licensed Colorado Real Estate Broker