Retirees often choose to move to a condo or townhouse in their senior years. For many people, these community-style living arrangements offer many benefits that single-family homes do not. Let’s check out the pros and cons of condos vs. townhouses in retirement.
Condos Vs. Townhouses in Retirement
What are condos?
Condos (or condominiums) are similar to apartments in that you share a wall with your neighbors. Usually they are side-by-side units. However, the difference between condos and apartments is that you actually own your condo (at least the inside) rather than simply renting it.
The major difference between condos and townhouses is that with a condo, you only own the space inside your walls. On the contrary, townhouses usually include ownership of the exterior of the building as well as the land on which the townhome sits.
Pros of condos:
- You don’t have to care for the outside of your condo. Instead, you’ll pay an HOA (homeowners association) fee that covers the upkeep and landscaping for your condo.
- Generally less expensive to buy, with less ongoing property taxes.
- Often include more amenities (such as a gym, pool, community classes, etc.), which are funded by HOA fees.
Cons of condos:
- You don’t own the land around your home.
- Generally, condos have higher HOA fees.
What are townhouses?
A townhouse is similar to a condo in that it shares walls with other homes (on one side or both). Townhouses usually have more than one level.
Again, the difference between condos and townhouses is that, with a townhouse, you own not only the interior, but also the exterior of the townhouse. You also own the land that your townhome sits on.
Pros of townhouses:
- Typically, HOA fees are lower for townhouses than condos. This is because the homeowner (in most cases) has more responsibilities in a townhouse than a condo.
- You own both the inside and outside of your townhouse, as well as your own property.
Cons of townhouses:
- Townhouses generally have a higher purchase price and higher property taxes than comparable condos.
- You may still have more restrictions on your property than you would in a single-family home.
Condo and townhome considerations for seniors
If you’re considering moving to a condo or townhouse after retirement, here are some questions to ask before you make your decision.
- What amenities does the living arrangement provide (for example, gym, café, pool, private parking, classes, etc.)?
- Do I need/want to own space outdoors?
- How much maintenance do I want to do?
- What is my ideal location?
- Can I afford the upfront cost?
- Can I afford the property taxes?
- How much are the HOA fees?
Do you have a plan for your retirement?
Whether you’re planning to move after retirement or stay where you are, it’s important to think through your retirement plans.
It’s very difficult to properly prepare for retirement if you haven’t given some thought to the type of lifestyle you hope to have in your retirement years.
At Milestone Wealth Management, we want to make sure that you have a retirement plan that will be successful. We’d love to sit down with you and talk through your hopes and dreams about retirement. Then, we’ll make a plan for how to make your retirement goals happen.
Ready? Just schedule a meeting today to get started!
This material is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified tax advisor, attorney, or accountant. Consultation with the appropriate professional should be done before any financial commitments regarding the issues related to the situations above are made.