Have you thought about the benefits of living in a condo? We’ll help you weigh the pros and cons of condo living before you make a move.


How do you know if it’s right for you to move from a house to a condo? For starters, if you find yourself using less and less of your home, this could be an indicator that living in a condo could simplify your life.

Nonetheless, moving from a house to a condo has a fair share of drawbacks and considerations. Seniors, empty nesters, and world travelers alike should learn more about the pros and cons of condo living before taking the leap and fully changing their lifestyles.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to consider before ]switching to condo life. To get the most out of it, we recommend going through it with a blank journal. Write down the answers to each question at the end of every section to clarify your best choice.

What is a Condo?

Before we begin, let’s define what a condo is— and what sets it apart from a house, apartment, or any other living situation (in case you’re asking yourself the valid question, how do condos work, anyway?). 

A condo is a privately owned space within a building. Condos differ from apartments because an apartment is usually rented instead of owned. Residents of condos often pay dues to their Homeowner’s Association (HOA fees) to ensure all communal areas, like pools or workout areas, are well-maintained. A condo can also exist in many forms, including townhouses, luxury lofts, or big city highrises.

Owning a Condo vs. House

If you’re still on the fence about moving into a condo, weighing the pros and cons before making a lifestyle-altering decision makes sense. For tips specific to the downsizing process, check out our article on How to Move from House to Apartment or Condo.

When it comes to concerns regarding money and expenses when living in a condo, there are a few key factors to consider. Depending on the market, condos can be more or less expensive per square foot than a single-family home. In certain areas, your down payment or entire purchase total might be cheaper than a home. However, based on the condo’s actual square footage, you may get less bang for your buck. Your property appreciation will also depend on your specific market. In smaller towns and rural areas, single-family homes with land tend to appreciate more than a similar-sized condo. However, condos in a city can rise in value quicker than single-family homes further away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Related: The Best Resale Apps to Help You Downsize and Declutter Your Home

What Are the Benefits of Living in a Condo?

1. Less Maintenance

If most of your time is spent away from the house, condo living provides the luxury of significantly less maintenance. That’s why condos are an excellent option for couples or individuals living alone, people who dislike or cannot keep up with typical household maintenance tasks, and people who frequently travel for work or leisure! Consider this; you’ll no longer have to spend your weekends mowing the lawn, dusting every corner of the house, pressure washing the driveway, and weeding the flower beds.


  • Do you have trouble keeping up with lawn care and other exterior maintenance?
  • Do you feel overly stressed when things break around the house, and it’s up to you to fix them or hire someone to help?
  • Do tasks like cutting the lawn and maintaining a garden bring you joy?

2. Fewer Chores

We can’t stress this enough, owning less can make you happier. That’s why downsizing is a major trend these days! Your chore time will be cut in half when you have fewer things and fewer rooms. Think about how you could spend that time doing activities that enrich your life instead.


  • Is the upkeep in your house getting to feel like a burden?
  • Do you need help with the number of rooms and bathrooms you need to clean regularly? 
  • How do you feel about the amount of “stuff” in and around your house? Are you willing to downsize some of your belongings for a simpler life?

3. Onsite Amenities

Every condo community is different, but there’s a good chance you’ll find access to varying amenities with any condo purchase. These might include a pool, tennis courts, gyms, and community rooms. Many condos also offer enhanced security measures like safety cameras or a gated community.


  • Would you take advantage of onsite amenities?
  • Are there any must-have amenities you’d absolutely need to have if you moved into a new condo?
  • Is living in a community with enhanced security a priority for you?

4. Built-in Community

Living in such close quarters with other people harbors a sense of community different from what you’d find in a typical neighborhood. Many condo residents take great pride in their community, and their neighbors can quickly become close friends.


  • Are you a loner that might benefit from living within a community?
  • Do you enjoy meeting new people? Would you take advantage of the benefits of a built-in community network?
  • Would you prefer a condo in the city or a more rural location?

Related: Should You Move During a Recession? 6 Things to Consider First

What Are the Cons of Living in a Condo?

1. Not Enough Space

If you’re moving from a house to a condo, there’s no doubt that the limited amount of space can be hard to adjust to at first. If you have many hobbies and items you don’t want to part with, moving to a condo will be a challenge. Not only can physical space be a challenge, but lack of storage can be another major downside.


  • How much space do you need to live comfortably?
  • What spaces are a priority for you? For example, do you need a home office or a basement area to be happy?
  • If you’re unwilling to downsize your belongings, how much storage space do you need?

Possible Solution — It’s no secret that moving to a smaller home means you’ll have less space for all of your belongings. To make this work, you must extensively declutter your living quarters. Take a few weeks to pay close attention to what you use daily. Could they all fit within a condo with some careful storage solutions?

2. Excess Noise, Lack of Privacy and Independence

If you are downsizing from a spread-out suburban neighborhood, moving to a condo can be a significantly different experience regarding noise. Sharing walls and floors/ceilings with your neighbors can be a brand-new experience that takes some getting used to. Some condo communities also restrict the number of visitors and pets you can have. You could also be limited when it comes to decorative aspects of your home, like paint colors, solar panels, and landscaping. This can all intrude on your sense of control if you’re used to living in a house.


  • Will the possibility of hearing neighbors above, below, or next to you be a problem?
  • Is the freedom to decorate, paint, or put holes in the walls important to you?
  • Does your need for privacy and control outweigh the benefits of condo living?

Possible Solution — If noise is a primary concern when living in a condo, consider opting for an end unit in a side-by-side building. This may not always be possible, but if you can control it, you’d only be sharing one set of walls in a situation like this. Also, don’t underestimate the power of noise-canceling headphones! They work wonders when you need to get work done in complete silence. Otherwise, have the right expectations before moving into your condo. If you run into an issue, always vocalize your issues respectfully if any neighbor disrespects the noise regulations past a reasonable hour.

3. Increased Expenses and HOA Fees

The price for condos per square foot can be higher than single-family homes. That’s because often what you’re paying for with a condo is convenience, location, and a few top-tier amenities. Your mortgage payment could increase when all things are considered.

Also, most condo communities have added Homeowners Association Fees. As mentioned, these dues cover regular maintenance and expenses like lawn cutting, pool cleaning, etc.


  • Can you afford a condo in your area? Have you researched the added cost and updated your budget accordingly?
  • How much are you willing to spend per month on a condo? Be sure to factor in any HOA fees into your budget before making a decision.

Possible Solution — Figure out what your priorities are and budget accordingly. If you want to be in a condo right on the beach, discover your top dollar budget and search in locations with condos priced within that range. Remember, buying a condo is an investment. With the right real estate agent, you should be able to find a unit that you will appreciate during your stay.

Related: Dealing With Moving Stress: Tips to Cope & Manage Anxiety

Bonus Tips for Choosing a Condo: How to Choose a Homeowners Association

If you’re considering a move to a condo community, there are some steps you can take to make sure you choose the condo that’s right for you. Specifically, you’ll want to do a deep dive into your condo’s Homeowners Association (HOA) to ensure it’s a good match. Here are a few of our best tips when you’re on the market for a condo near you:

  • Review the finances of the condo association to make sure it is financially healthy.
  • Read the association’s rules, regulations, and bylaws well before making an offer.
  • Look over the community newsletter and see if the activities and stories appeal to you. If they don’t have one, try to find out why.
  • Find a condo community that has HOA fees that include amenities you will use and appreciate. If one condo community is a stickler about keeping the exterior freshly painted every year and you could care less about outdoor appearances, maybe pick a different community. The same goes for if a condo community has a spectacular pool that they spend a lot of money maintaining, but you hate to swim.
  • Make sure the HOA is a well-managed fund that has enough reserve fees set aside for both long and short-term projects as well as emergency maintenance. Mismanaged funds can result in a special assessment fee that all condo owners would be required to pay.
  • When doing your budget, consider that older condos might cost less up front but tend to have higher HOAs because there is more upkeep.

Is Living in a Condo Worth it For You?

Whether you’re moving from a house or an apartment, choosing to make the switch to a condo is a big decision. Unlike apartments or other temporary living situations, you’ll likely live in your condo for a while. That’s why it’s so important to take your time, do your research, and choose a location, a building, and a community that suits your life.

For more moving resources, check out these articles next: 

Editor’s Note: Originally published on October 13, 2017; updated March 10, 2021 and March 10, 2023 to provide more comprehensive information on the topic of living in a condo.

About the Authors

Emily Malkowski

Emily Malkowski is a writer and SEO strategist with over 5 years experience, in Buffalo, New York. Having graduated from University at Buffalo with a Bachelor's degree in Communications, her work has appeared in outlets like The American Prospect, Roadtrippers Magazine, Step Out Buffalo, and more.

Lauren Thomann

Lauren Thomann has written about self storage and moving since 2015, making her our storage expert. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and Linguistics and has published over 150 articles on moving, storage, and home organization. She is also a contributing writer at and Martha Stewart.

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