Should I buy a Condo or a House?

Should you buy a condo/townhome or a house? This is a question I get asked, but not as often as the many others I’m asked on a daily basis.  Most of the time people know what they want, however one thing people do not know how these are treated from a mortgage prospective.  I bring up the mortgage piece as many people are educated fully on what their pre-approval truly means, this is the fault of the lender you choose.  A lender does their pre-approval based on what monthly payment you can afford which does take into account an HOA payment.  It boils down to you truly can get more for your monthly payment in a house, for example you can purchase a condo/townhome for $250,000 with a $250/mo HOA payment and it will have the same monthly payment(roughly) as a house that costs $300,000.  Yes your upfront down payment will be a bit more, but in the long run you’ll be paying the same amount over the life of the loan.  The latter part can change if your HOA needs to increase the HOA monthly payment to pay for many things that could come up over the life of the property, effectively a $250,000 condo could end up costing you more than a $300,000 in regards to your payment.  

In the end you should definitely not throw out the idea of “paying” more for a house, because you could very well end up with a better deal in the end!