Which is less expensive?

 Which is less expensive house or condo?  The age old argument.  In most cases the condo is going to be less expensive because the costs of exterior maintenance are shared among a greater number of people.

Some condos have dues that are $350 a month or more but when they pay for heat, insurance, water and trash removal and maintenance it seems like a bargain to me because I know it costs more than that each month for my family to live in our modest St. Paul home and we still have to shovel the snow and mow the lawn.

People who are retiring are often afraid of condos because of the association fees.  It is really important to shop around and to see what those fees pay for.  Some condo buildings also have amenities like swimming pools and exercise rooms.  Owners do not have to spend money and time each month to go to the gym or try to find a place for exercise equipment.

Any type of housing needs maintenance.  Even if there is no monthly fee to pay for maintenance home owners do pay for it and it can be thousands or dollars all at once instead of a few dollars each month. Nothing lasts for ever.

However I totally understand buyers who do not want to pay extra for amenities that they have no interest in or will never use.  There are condos with lower association dues and fewer amenities. 

I am not sure which type of housing is less expensive because in some cases it is comparing apples to oranges.  I do however think it is important to look at what association dues cover and compare them with the expenses of owning an individual home before deciding that condo life is too expensive. 

Also see Condo Docs and The HOA from Hell

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6th and Sibley
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