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Houses Versus Condos – Pros and Cons

In a resort destination like Lake Tahoe, there are many reasons why people purchase property – second home, investment purposes, vacation home and some are lucky enough to have a primary residence here. There are many criteria to take into account when making a purchase decision; single-family home, townhome/condominium, or a freestanding condo.

Within the Tahoe Basin there are a multitude of locations and settings you can choose from. There are panoramic lakeviews with minimal land and higher elevation panoramic lakeviews with an acre or more. Low elevation properties are usually a short distance from the beaches and have minimal snow removal. There are the golf course neighborhoods that provide a great setting, possibly a mountain view and a good amount of privacy for most of the year. The neighborhoods located around the center of town are close to the restaurants and shops and a short bike ride to the lake. Deciding where you want to be at Lake Tahoe goes hand in hand with what your property is being used for and what your needs are.

There are many things to consider when comparing a single-family home to a condo or a freestanding condo. Most of the time, a single-family home provides more privacy, can sleep larger families and extended family members; give more freedom to the owners/occupants, and may come with a multitude of tax breaks. Single-family homes can demand a good amount of care and attention from their owners. Exterior maintenance can be costly and time consuming. The responsibility that comes with home ownership can make owning condominiums seem more appealing. But as with anything there are positives and negatives to both.

Condominiums are great if you are looking to keep the purchase price lower, spend a lot of time traveling, have less time for home care or just don’t want the headache of maintaining a single-family home. There is something very appealing about paying a nominal monthly fee and not having to schedule landscaping, contractors, painters, and snow removal.

Depending on the HOA, the condo can come with many strings. Living in a condo you give up a bit of privacy by being so close to your neighbors. The HOA can regulate where and how many cars you park, the exterior look of the home, what you keep on your deck, and if you can rent out your unit.

Generally, exterior and sometimes interior renovations may have to be approved by the HOA. If the roof needs to be replaced or if there is another issue in the complex, the owners could be hit with a hefty assessment on top of the monthly HOA fee.

However, the amenities offered by an HOA can be very appealing. Some have swimming pools, spas, saunas, club houses, tennis courts, nice large lawn areas and other fine features. Condos can be a more affordable option during the initial purchasing process offering smaller down payments, property taxes and escrow fees.

If you are looking to paint your front door whatever color you want and prefer more privacy, a single-family home may be a better option for you. Enlisting a local home watch service can help maintain your property while you are away. When making the decision to buy a single-family home or a condo it all boils down to you and your family’s particular wants, needs and preferences so you can create wonderful memories.

Weekly Real Estate Update

Statistics gathered from the Incline Village MLS on 1/19/20

Houses Condos PUDs

For Sale 80 44 14

Under $1 million 11 21 9

Median Price For Sale $1,999,995 $1,039,000 $775,000

YTD Sales 2020 6 6 1

YTD Sales 2019 7 5 3

New Listings 7

In Escrow 10

Closed Escrow 6

Range in Escrow $599,000 – $4,895,000

These statistics are based on information from the Incline Village Board of REALTORS® or its Multiple Listing Service as of January 19, 2020

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