Condo vs. Single-Family Home

What do you plan on calling home? A single-family residence or condo unit?
What do you plan on calling home? A single-family residence or condo unit?
What do you plan on calling home? A single-family residence or condo unit?

If you plan on moving to an active adult community, where do you see yourself: in a condo or single-family home? That’s probably one of the first questions to ask yourself before you start the home search process. Buying a condo or single-family home depends on your lifestyle, budget, and personal preference. After all, purchasing your retirement home is one of the most important decisions you’ll make throughout your lifetime. So which is better for you: condo or single-family home?

First, What’s the Difference?

It’s important to weigh all of your options before making your final decision. So it’s essential to know the difference between a condo and a single-family home. When you purchase a condo you only own the inside of the residence. The condo association owns all of the exterior space like common areas and yards. When you purchase a single-family home you are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the inside and outside of the home.

Maintenance Comparison

If you don’t want to worry about mowing the lawn, raking leaves, or shoveling snow then maybe buying a condo is a better choice for you. Condo owners can pick up and go as they please without having to worry about keeping up with landscaping and other exterior maintenance. Professional associations manage condo buildings and the owners pay association fees that take care of the exterior maintenance and repairs. Condo association fees may be higher than association fees for a single-family home because they include more services, shared facilities, and common area spaces.

There are some single-family home neighborhoods managed by a homeowners’ association (HOA), but not as restrictive as a condo association. Condo associations and HOAs share similar responsibilities like maintaining the exterior of the residences and are governed by a board elected by the property owners, but the difference between the two is that condo associations have more regulations like who you can sell your unit to or if you are allowed to lease your unit. They can also regulate pets, patio furniture, and parking spaces.


Living in an apartment-style condo might be cheaper than owning a single-family home. Of course you have to consider the location and size of the home, but generally, you would spend less purchasing a one-bed and one-bath condo than a three-bedroom, two-bathroom single-family home in a suburban neighborhood.


And if you don’t mind sharing common area spaces like elevators, hallways, gardens, stairways, and recreation facilities then a condo might be the right living situation for you. Typically, condos are located within multi-unit or multi-level buildings where you are in close proximity to your neighbor. Your neighbor can live next door, upstairs, or below your unit.

You may encounter noisy neighbors, which is something you will need to consider before buying a condo. But some people would argue that they like living in a condo community because they get to talk to their neighbors more often and bump into them in the hallways, elevators, and other common areas. It might be a great way to meet new people and make friends.

If you value your privacy and like more space, a single-family home might be a better choice. Buying a single-family home means more indoor and outdoor space, privacy, and responsibility. You have your own backyard to host parties and BBQs, be as loud (within reason) as you want, own a dog or two, and renovate your home to your liking.


You may want to consider your lifestyle preference as well. If you have a large family, then you will want to make sure you buy a single-family home that has enough space for everyone if they visit often. If you plan to live alone or with your significant other and a lot of space isn’t your biggest concern, a condo might be a better choice.

Ultimately, you are the one who can decide which property type in retirement is best for you. The best thing you can do is to research the home and area, and find something that suits your pocket and personality. Where do you see yourself retiring, in a condo or single-family home?

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and
Details here.

Share this post:

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting [email protected] Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Best Places to Snowbird in 2021

We’ve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, we’ve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If you’re ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

55+ Communities Near Lakes in the Charlotte Area

Dreaming of spending your retirement on the water, boating, fishing, swimming, or just relaxing, soaking up the sun every day? Then, Charlotte, North Carolina should be on your radar.

A happy group of elderly people living in a 55+ community meet the age requirements.

What Are the Age Requirements for a 55+ Community?

For many, the answer to “What are the age requirements for a 55+ community?” may seem obvious. You have to be 55 or older, right? No, that’s not always the case. In fact, there are many scenarios where there’s only one resident who is 55 or older. Also, there are rare cases when no residents is 55 or older. 

55+ Communities Near the Philadelphia International Airport

Active adult homebuyers who seek homes for sale near an airport have options in several Pennsylvania and New Jersey suburbs, but real estate here is in high demand, so availability can be limited. The best advice? If you find something you like, grab it before someone else does!

55+ Communities With Condos for Sale Near Orlando

Condos are a great option for active adults who want to live in or near Orlando, Florida. Some condos are in communities on the water and others include golf courses, private restaurants, and recreation centers. Let’s look at some of the most popular 55+ communities with condos for sale near Orlando.

Is Greenville, South Carolina a Good Place to Retire?

If you’re considering retiring in the Southeast, Greenville in South Carolina should definitely be on your list of places to consider. This mid-sized city has quickly become one of the fastest-growing cities in the South. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re considering retiring in Greenville.

New Jersey 55+ Communities With Easy Commutes to Philadelphia

People travel into Philadelphia for different reasons. Many people work there while others have family who call it home. And there are those who have theater memberships or frequently patronize the restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions on that side of the bridge. For them, living within easy commuting distance to Philadelphia is very beneficial.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top