Prospects of Selling a Condo vs. Single-Family House

Some people find apartment-style condo buildings to be convenient to their lifestyles.

Some people find apartment-style condo buildings to be convenient to their lifestyles.

The process of selling any home comes with uncertainty and distinct challenges. Real estate markets are known to fluctuate with the economy and subjective buyer preferences. While a condo tends to be more difficult to sell than a single-family house, you're not out of luck if you own one. What makes condos more difficult to sell is also what makes them more appealing to first-time and older home buyers. The prospects for selling a single-family house may be greater, but going from listing to closing will depend on the condition of the home and its local market.

Market Value

In most markets, condos come with lower sale prices. This also means that condos do not increase in value as much as single-family homes. In some markets, particularly those with high concentrations of retired homebuyers, condos often appreciate faster than average. Whatever type of market you're looking to sell a condo in, the lower average price will appeal to those needing to downsize, get into the real estate market or purchase an additional home.

HOA's

Condos come with extra fees and potential selling hurdles that are related to homeowners' associations or HOAs. An HOA determines the monthly dues that will cover the repairs and upkeep for common areas and amenities. Each HOA will have different by-laws that spell out what it will take care of. The by-laws might also state what it will allow on the outside of your home. Someone might back out of a condo deal if he or is not comfortable with the by-laws or the monthly fee amount. Mortgage lenders will also investigate the HOA's finances before approving a loan.

Lifestyle

Even though single-family homes require more responsibility for their upkeep, they appeal to a broader market. More control and space are two reasons. With a single-family house, there isn't an HOA to tell you what you can hang in your windows or do with your yard. Families that have children are more likely to want the separate structure of a single-family home. In many condos, there is someone above you and someone below you. This often means more potential unwanted noise. On the other hand, condos provide many built-in amenities, such as a pool, fitness center and clubhouse -- often selling points..

Loan Approval

Financing options can be more limited with condos, shortening the list of people who can afford to buy one. If you've got one to sell, you should be aware that it will be more difficult for someone to get approved for an FHA loan. First-time home buyers tend to be more likely to turn to FHA financing. According to MSN.com, an FHA loan will go through on a condo if at least 50 percent of the complex's units are sold or under contract.

About the Author

Helen Akers specializes in business and technology topics. She has professional experience in business-to-business sales, technical support, and management. Akers holds a Master of Business Administration with a marketing concentration from Devry University's Keller Graduate School of Management and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles.

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