2 Reasons You Might Regret Buying a Condo When You're Single

Woman sitting outside on her condo balcony.

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A condo may seem like a great type of home to buy when it's just you, but you might regret that decision later.


Key points

  • Condos can be more affordable than townhomes and standalone homes, making them easier to swing for solo home buyers.
  • Limited space and HOA fees are drawbacks that all buyers should be aware of.

Being single can be a challenge when it comes to buying a home. That's because you'll have just your own income and savings to work with, whereas joint buyers can potentially bring two incomes to the table. Furthermore, you may have more difficulty qualifying for a mortgage or receiving the best terms from a mortgage lender as a single applicant, as opposed to coming in as a joint applicant.

For these reasons, a condo may seem like a good choice if you're looking to buy a home. Condos tend to be less expensive than townhouses and standalone homes because they're usually smaller. If you're on more of a budget or are worried you won't qualify for a larger mortgage, a condo could be a financially sound choice.

Also, if you're single, you may not mind having a bit less living space. After all, if you don't have to share your home with anyone, a smaller space may work out just fine.

But before you rush to purchase a condo, you'll need to make sure it's really the right choice. Here are a few reasons why buying a condo may not be a great idea.

1. You might struggle if you decide to live with a partner in the future

You may be single right now, but what if you meet someone in a year or two and eventually want to share a life and living space? At that point, your condo may end up being too small.

Of course, there's always the option to sell your condo and upsize jointly with your partner once the situation warrants it. But selling a condo isn't always easy. For one thing, if your homeowners association imposes lots of rules, you might struggle to find a buyer. The same holds true if you're paying expensive HOA fees. Some buyers refuse to purchase a property if it has an HOA due to the extra headaches, so you might land in a situation where you have to cram into your space for longer than you'd like.

2. You might struggle with rising HOA fees

The downside of being single from a financial standpoint is having no one to split the bills with. If your HOA fees rise from year to year, you may have a difficult time keeping up.

HOA fees can rise for a number of reasons. Often, increases are spurred by a need for additional maintenance, such as if your building's elevators need an overhaul. While getting onto your condo board could give you more of a voice in the fight against those increases, ultimately, they're something you may need to deal with.

Is a condo right for you?

The good thing about condos is that they often fit the bill for people looking to purchase a starter home. And so you may have a relatively easy time selling one after all should that need arise.

At the same time, if you're buying a condo solo, you should be aware that if your relationship status changes, that home may stop serving your needs. Additionally, rising HOA fees could strain your budget. If you're willing to overlook those negatives, you may find that buying a condo is a great way to venture into homeownership on your own.

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