So you’ve decided that renting an apartment is a waste of money. Additionally, you just got a raise at your job and you’re looking to invest your extra cash in real estate. The decision to buy instead of rent a property is a big decision in of itself, but you’re not out of the woods yet. The question is what to buy? Do you opt for more space and buy a house? Or do you decide to downsize a bit and purchase a condo?

Here are some things to consider in making your decision:

(1) Know how much the maintenance fees are

While condos can be a more affordable option, do realize that every condominium will have a monthly or yearly fee to pay for the upkeep of the premises. These fees can very considerably from one building to the next so make sure that they do not put you over budget. If the maintenance fees are too pricy at some of the properties you are looking at don’t think that buying a home will help you avoid these fees. True, there is no formal fee attached to the contract you sign to buy your house, but if you don’t want your property to look like a rats nest you’re going to have to spend money to keep it up (gardening, painting, etc…)

(2) Location, Location, Location!

One of the big advantages of buying a condominium is that they often allow people to buy into markets they could otherwise not afford. A home in La Jolla may run you well over a million dollars, but you could pick yourself up a stellar condominium for around $650,000. If space is what you desire and location is not a top priority then a condo is most likely not the best purchase for you.

(3) Condos are much easier to rent.

Because condos tend to be in more desirable areas and require much less up keep than a home, finding someone to rent a condo is much easier than for a house. From being out of town for a few months to a few years, cash flow from a condo is a great way to supplement you income and make the most out of your investment.

At the end of the day they choice is yours. However, one should think about these and other issues before formalizing any decision.

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This is filed under Home Buying.

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