*In General Terms. Always there are exceptions to the rule.
Single Family housing (Resale):
Pros: It’s your house, you can paint it, add a deck, whatever you want (generally speaking) and you can sell it when you want to move. Got pets? Not a problem! You can have 18 cats and 5 dogs if you want. I wouldn’t recommend, it though.
Cons: There are no landlords to call or association funds that cover expenses.
Pros: It’s your house, you can paint it, and you can resell it. But you don’t have yard and snow maintenance or exterior maintenance to worry about. Your monthly association fee covers that. Often times you’ll have an attached garage. Some allow certain pets.
Cons: Though it’s your house, you are limited to what you can do outside, your neighbors are right next door with just a wall or few between you, and there’s an association fee that you must pay monthly to cover costs.
Pros: It’s your house, you can paint it (inside) and you can resell it and you have freedoms in how to do the exterior of the home, dissimilar to living in a town home. Usually an affordable option.
Cons: Your neighbors are right next door, and because there’s most often no association ruling the situation, he/she can paint his or her half of the building bright pink if he/she chooses.
Pros: It’s your condo, you can paint it (inside) and you can resell it. It may be your most affordable option. You don’t have yard and snow maintenance or exterior maintenance to worry about as your monthly fee covers that. It doesn’t get much easier living than this unless you have a Great Dane you’re trying to smuggle in un-noticed into one where there’s a pet restriction.
Cons: You are living in as close quarters as you would be as if you are living in an apartment building. Noise can be an issue. Parking may not be as convenient as an attached garage right off your kitchen (therefore harder to smuggle Fido in).
Brand New home (Pre-built or to be built):
Pros: It’s brand spanking new! Everything comes with a warranty and it’s just like buying a new car with new house smells to boot.
Cons: Just like a new car, you are buying it at top dollar. You may get a deal if the builder is ready to move it. They generally sell for list price and sometimes more if you ask for additions to be included. Many things that you find in a previously owned home are not included or can be if you choose to pay “ala carte” Most often examples: Water softener, gutters, landscaping, deck, and window treatments.
Pros: Water heater breaks, you call the landlord to fix it! You want to move, you move when the lease is up. You won’t have to worry about selling your home first. It’s a good option for temporary housing.
Cons: Water heater breaks, landlord may take his/her sweet time getting there. When your lease is up you may have a new lease amount (most often it’s higher). You don’t own it so getting permission to paint and make it feel homey is a bit of a challenge.
Costs more right now than a house payment would.
What pros and cons can you add to this list?