Starter Home – Which is Best For You?

April 8, 2021

When it comes to buying your first home, there are options for the types of homes you can buy. You could buy a single-family standalone house, a townhouse or a condo. Of course, as with most purchases, there are pros and cons to each option. Let’s review some of the pros and cons of these options so you can decide which is best for you.

Condo or Townhouse

Pro: You can often find condos and townhouses that are much cheaper to buy than detached homes.

Con: With either of these two options, you typically have to pay some type of homeowner’s association fee. So, even though it may cost less to buy, your monthly payment may end up being close to what you’d pay if you bought a house when you add in the HOA fee.

Pro: If you are looking for the feeling of community, then a condo or townhouse is the right choice for you. Since you are in close proximity to your neighbors, it’s easier to get to know them.

Con: If privacy and space are at the top of your priority list, these may be bad options for you. When you live in a condo or townhouse you share walls with your neighbors, which can be a little noisy at times.

Pro: Don’t want to mow your lawn or take care of snow removal? Then you’ve made the right choice! A lot of HOAs will cover a lot of the exterior maintenance of a property so you won’t have to worry about handling it.

Con: Rules and regulations come along with living in a condo or townhome. Your HOA may have restrictions on things you can change about your place and some even have rules on what kind of pets you can have if they allow you to have one at all.


Pro: One of the best parts of buying a house is that you can make it whatever you’d like! You can renovate the interior, plant a garden, put solar panels on the roof, or anything else your heart desires. There may be a few restrictions, but far less than if you bought a condo or townhouse.

Con: Houses can be a lot of work. You will be responsible for any maintenance such as lawn mowing or snow removal. If something breaks, you will need to fix it yourself or hire a professional to come to do the work. These costs can add up so you may want to have a separate savings account you put money into to cover any of these unexpected expenses.

Pro: A house offers you more privacy than a townhome or condo since you won’t have to share walls with your neighbors.

Con: Any changes you want to make to your home will require either an investment of time, money or both.

Pro: Along with privacy, a house offers you a lot more outdoor space. This gives you more space for your kids to play, pets to run around or a place to have cookouts with family and friends.

Con: Since houses generally have more space, you are going to have a higher utility bill.

At the end of the day, you should buy is whichever style home you think will best fit your lifestyle. If you don’t want to spend the time or money on maintenance and you enjoy being part of a community, then a townhome or condo may be the right fit for you. If you value privacy, space and the ability to modify your home to your liking, a house might suit you better. Whichever you choose, you can search listings on to find what you’re looking for!

Home Search

First Weber sells real estate throughout Wisconsin: Metro Milwaukee and Southeastern WI, South Central Wisconsin/Greater Madison, Central Wisconsin, Northeast Wisconsin, Western WI, parts of MN, Michigan’s UP and Wisconsin’s great Northwoods. You can start searching for Wisconsin real estate and Wisconsin real estate agents at

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