When some people imagine their “dream home,” it’s a pie in the sky, no holds barred kind of home. That’s probably why the National Association of Home Builders’ (N.A.H.B.) 2018 New American Home is nearly 11,000 feet, with 8 bathrooms, 2 elevators (including one for a car!), and all the latest smart-home technology. This home sounds and looks incredible, but it may be more space than some families need or want.
While you may think a condo is at the other end of the spectrum, condos actually come in many sizes, with varying layouts, built-in technologies, top-of-the-line appliances, and a full range of amenities and conveniences. Those are some solid reasons why a condo should be your dream home, and there are many more.
If you compare the price of a condo and the price of a single family home – with comparable locations, square footage, and age – condos almost always cost less than single family homes. Sometimes it even costs less to buy a condo than to rent a single family home.
Multifamily housing like condos cost less than single family homes because they costs less to build than individual homes for the same number of families. For a first-time homebuyer, affordability means less financial strain and more opportunity to save for the next home if you decide to go that route. That affordability also means more disposable income to spend on the lifestyle that you want.
2. Energy Efficiency
One of the great things about buying a new condo is that Energy Star and LEED certifications are much more common than even ten years ago. This means that buildings and appliances perform more efficiently than houses just built to code, which is good for the planet and your wallet.
Condos built to higher energy efficiency standards are also healthier homes. Melissa Wahl, Co-Owner of
Cobblestone Homes, explains, “…the stories that are really more exciting to us are the stories in which someone calls and says, you know, ‘My son hasn’t slept through the night in his entire life, until we moved into our new home. And thank you for having a tight structure and looking at indoor quality. He now sleeps through the night. And does not have to use his inhaler as much.’”
A big home and yard come with big responsibilities. Condos are much simpler and less costly to maintain. Imagine not having the hassle of mowing or having to worry about certain repairs. With a condo, you can still enjoy gardening with indoor or patio plants, or get involved in a nearby community garden. Some condo communities also have a community garden, so you can have your plants (and eat them, too).
Humans are social creatures, designed to live in community. Condo associations offer community-building amenities, such as special events, kids’ nights, on-site gyms and community rooms or centers that appeal to just about everyone.
A sense of community is great for retirees and empty-nesters, as well as for single buyers. Condo living is also family-friendly. With more and more condo managers catering to buyers with kids, these amenities attract families and create kid-friendly communities. This means your child’s new best friend could be living right next door instead of across town.
One big factor that sets condos apart from other types of homes is their location. There simply isn’t enough space in urban environments for single family homes, so vertical, multi-family dwellings like condos often have the best locations.
This means walkability, public transportation, convenience, less driving, shorter commutes, and a number of other benefits. Location may also decrease how much you drive and how many cars you need, which means further financial savings.
Energy efficiency isn’t the only sustainability factor. Vertical, multi-family living results in less waste during the construction phase, due to the streamlined process. Walking more means driving less, which in turn means less auto pollution and a decreased dependency on fossil fuel. As populations grow, land resources become more precious and, in turn, vertical living becomes more necessary.
For the last 16 years, Rachel Kinbar has been a writer of articles, blog posts, white papers, essays, infographics, web copy, sales copy, scripts, poetry, lyrics, and more. She has keen research skills that she applies to a wide variety of topics, and she especially loves topics related to design, history, and sustainable living.