Grand Rapids Real Estate – House VS Condo
We are in an interesting market. After the last few years, selling Grand Rapids Real Estate was not easy as house values had taken a huge hit and many home owners were under water or nearly so. Buyer’s were tentative to purchase but interest rates were low and it was a good time to purchase a home or condo.
Late last year and right into this year, the real estate market has improved dramatically. Home prices are up slightly and interest rates are still down. This year we have seen an improvement across the board in pending sales and sold property over last year. Sellers are more inclined to hire a great agent (Yours Truly!) and put their home or condo on the market. We have seen many homes, priced correctly, selling within 30 to 60 days.
But what to buy? Is a home or a condo a better option? Which one suits you better? There are many factors to consider when choosing between houses and condos. Aside from location, buyers are able to choose between houses and condos as there are usually several options available in most neighborhoods in the Greater Grand Rapids area. Purchasing a home means you also own the land underneath while buying a condo includes only the living space within the unit and some of the common areas of the building or grounds. There are advantages and disadvantages to both however and the kind of lifestyle you want and the costs involved will help determine which is more suitable to your needs.
Pros of Buying a Condo
Grand Rapids Condos have been becoming more and more popular in recent years. Condos are typically located in urban areas however our downtown Grand Rapids Condos are in demand. The condos located downtown for example are mostly in walking distance to so many venues, restaurants, museums, outdoor concerts and so much more. Living in downtown Grand Rapids has shown to be a fantastic lifestyle. Many of the downtown condos will have parking, common areas, roof top decks, pools and fitness facilities located on site. Outside of downtown, you can find stand-alone units that feature all of the space of a single family home, but without the maintenance. For people with busy lives, empty-nesters or young professionals, condos are an attractive choice because of their location, low maintenance and convenience. It is also less expensive to purchase homeowners insurance for a condo vs a house.
Note: Some downtown condos are located in a Renaissance Zone and offer reduced income and property taxes until 2017.
Cons of Buying a Condo
The main negative to purchasing a condo is having to pay a monthly association fee. These are not rolled into the mortgage but impact your monthly budget. Association fees are used to pay for maintenance and the upkeep of the condo and vary from condo to condo. A portion of this monthly fee is used for building insurance. Association fees can be quite expensive in certain condos. For example, some condos downtown charge $0.30 per square foot. Another con is that homeowners share in the decision making process regarding any upgrades or repairs to the building. Each condo also has its own set of bylaws which contain the rules and restrictions that all homeowners must follow. Therefore some condos may not allow pets, or have breed restrictions or size restrictions for dogs. Condo owners can not deduct HOA (Home Owners Association) fees as an expense on their federal income taxes.
Pros of Buying a House
The main advantage to owing your own home is that you have complete control over the property and are able to make any renovations or changes to the home without need the consent of a committee. Houses will usually have more living space and more storage space. Plus you can plan and care for your own landscaping. Houses will also have more privacy and won’t have restrictions on pets.
Cons to Buying a House
As a home owner, you are completely responsible for all maintenance and repairs inside and outside the home. These costs have a tendency to “nickle and dime” a person to death because you not only have to spend valuable down time on these repairs and maintenance items, but you have to either hire out the repairs or spend money on the equipment needed to do the repair. Plus you will need yard equipment, lawn mowers, snow throwers etc. Something else to consider are your utility bills will probably be higher with a house.
You can search all Grand Rapids Listings on this website and sign up for Email Alerts where you can receive daily notifications of any property that match your criteria, save your favorites and schedule showings online. If you are selling a home, let us provide a free Market Analysis and let you know what your closing costs will be. Email me with any questions or call or text Andrew at 616-570-1871. I am happy to answer any questions you might have.