Condos: The Perfect Home Choice For Young, First-Time Home Buyers

When you picture your first home, an image of a large house on a big piece of property might come to mind. But for young home buyers in their 20s and 30s, there's another kind of home that is often a better choice: a condominium. Here's a closer look at condo-style homes and why they work so well for people in your situation.

What is a condo?

A condominium, or condo, is a piece of real estate that's divided into units. Each of the units is sold and owned separately. In large cities, a condo may be a single building -- and every individual living space inside that building has a different owner. In more suburban areas, condos may be individual townhomes in a plot of land.

In a physical sense, a condo is similar to an apartment. However, instead of renting the units, each person in the condo community owns their unit.

What are the benefits of a condo for a young, first-time buyer?

Since condos vary widely, each condo community is going to offer its own benefits. One community may be in the perfect location relative to your job, and another may be an attractive option because you love the brick exteriors. In general, however, condo communities offer these benefits.

You'll build equity.

If you enjoy living in an apartment community setting, you may be tempted to just keep renting for years to come. However, when you pay rent, you're basically paying someone else's mortgage. When you purchase a condo, you get to enjoy a similar style of living, but when you pay your mortgage each month, you'll be building equity. If you decide to move at some point, you can sell the condo -- and assuming you get a decent price, you''ll get to keep that equity.

Someone else does the yard work.

When you're young and trying to build your career and family, you don't always have a lot of time to spare. When you live in a condo, the condo association typically takes care of all the lawn mowing, gardening, snow removal, and other landscaping and outdoor-related tasks. This allows you to live in a beautifully landscaped place without dedicating the time. You'll pay a condo association fee each month to cover these services.

You can customize the interior of your home without worrying about the exterior.

In many condo communities, you won't be responsible for tasks like maintaining the roof and siding. You're only responsible for the interior. Tasks like painting and having carpet replaced are easier to tackle than outdoor projects. Having the flexibility to change the color of your walls and carpet (which you don't usually have in an apartment) makes the space feel more like your own. However, you won't be overwhelmed with the responsibility of maintaining everything as you would in a single-family home.

Most condo communities have a vibrant social scene.

When you move into a single-family home in a suburb or in the country, it can be hard to meet others and make friends. Condo communities make it much easier to develop and maintain a social life. Many communities have shared amenities like a pool or fitness center where you can meet others who share your interest. There may even be organized events like book clubs and recreational sports.

If you're looking for a living situation that allows you to own real estate without all of the commitments that come with owning a single-family home, talk to a realtor from an agency like Marilyn Salzman Real Estate about condos in your area. When you're young, busy, and looking to make new friends, living in a condo is a good lifestyle and financial choice.