Condo vs. Single Family Home Sales

The down payment requirement for conventional mortgages on condos is as little as 5 percent.

More than half of my preapprovals last week were for the purchase of a condominium. Normally, between 70-75% of my preapprovals are for single family homes. This has been the case since the beginning of the year, but the percentages are changing.

Guidelines for condominiums have been evolving over the last few years. We are now able to get conventional mortgages with as little as 5% down on a regular basis. Since many condominium complexes are not approved to allow FHA and VA financing, being able to do loans with 5% down, makes more complexes available to new buyers. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jim G. March 31, 2013 at 04:26 PM
I'd be utterly unsurprised to find the purchase/build agreement has an elevator clause hidden in some sub-paragraph.
Lisa Mileski April 01, 2013 at 12:18 PM
I have first hand knowledge of owning a condo. I bought mine without the knowledge of huge structural issues in one of the buildings. Even though they existed when I bought my unit, they were not disclosed by the seller or the Condo Association. I am now going to be 1/24th percent responsible for "fixing" the structural issues to the tune of several thousands of dollars. So unfair. Be very careful and cautious. I would never ever buy a condo again.
Malvi Lennon April 01, 2013 at 01:04 PM
I have first hand experience with a condo, although our rules are different from most condos. We actually own our building inside and out. The draw back? We still pay high condo fees and we are also responsible for expenses such as roof, siding, windows. However before I make ANY change to the exterior (right down to changing a light fixture) I have to get "permission" from the association. Condos are a pain. If it were not for the market I would sell mine and buy a single family home in aheart beat.
Matt April 01, 2013 at 01:36 PM
If you are responsible for your part of the structure (inside and out, plus the roof), that is generally defined as a townhouse. The HOA fees are generally much lower since the HOA is not responsible for structures, only common areas. How elaborate the common areas are drives your HOA fees. Your homeowners insurance is closer to that of a normal house since they have to cover the structure. If you are only responsible for the "interior structure", commonly called the studs inward, with the HOA responsible for the physical structure and exteriors/roof, that would be commonly defined as a condominium. HOA fees are generally much higher since the HOA has to maintain and insure all the structures. Your homeowners insurance would be a condo policy and is quite low since it doesn't have to cover the structure.
Observor April 01, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Matt, while some states have a form of ownership called "townhouse" Connecticut does not. We have three types of common ownership: condominium, co-op and planned unit development. Buildings that look like townhouses could be any one of the three. What you describe as a townhouse sounds like a PUD. In any event, buyers would be well-advised to have the lawyer they're going to use for the closing look at what they're getting and what their potential maintenance costs might turn out to be before they sign a contract.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »