Are you not sure if you should buy a house or buy an apartment? Here come some pros and cons of those two.
Buying your own property (house) is probably not the most common thing for a "first time mover", but sometimes it can be a viable option, especially in smaller towns where the house prices are relatively low compared to the cities. Owning your own property gives a lot of freedom because it is just you who owns it. You can paint the walls in any color you want, decide how the kitchen should be equipped and your neighbors won’t be as close so you can play loud music during nights as much as you want. Meanwhile, owning a building is a huge responsibility and requires a lot of work. When the washing machine or oven breaks, you yourself need to make sure it gets repaired. You are required to pay property taxes, and it is your responsibility to make sure that the house is renovated and repaired. As a house owner you won’t have to pay a monthly rent, but on the other hand, many other fees and expenses are to be paid periodically like garbage collection fee, parking space, electricity costs and loans. Properties can either be purchased privately or through an estate agent. The good thing with engaging a broker includes that both the buyer and the seller may get help in establishing proper purchase documents. The downside of hiring brokers is that they charge you. So if the buyer and seller agree on the price but are unsure of how to establish the contracts you can hire a lawyer instead of a broker.
The next choice would be a condominium which is a common type of accommodation and means that you own a share in a housing cooperative that owns the property that you live in. As a shareholder you are entitled to live in a particular apartment. You do not really own the apartment but a part of the whole compound which gives you the right to own a certain apartment. As a condominium owner, you pay both a contribution fee to the seller upon purchase, and a monthly fee to the condominium association which are used for common expenses such as elevator cleaning and laundry room. The monthly fee is typically lower than rental properties because the housing association does not have the same profit interest as ordinary landlords. A portion of the monthly fee goes to a repair fund. People living in this property can, from this fund, apply for assistance for repairs and renovations of the house / apartment. As a resident of a condominium, you have responsibilities for the maintenance as well as the unity.
The prices of condominiums vary a lot, similar to when buying a house. Attractive locations in major cities normally imply a price of several million, while an equally large apartment in a smaller town outside the capital can land on only a few thousands. If you don’t have money enough, you need to take a loan, which can later be amortized. Borrowing costs are therefore a significant proportion of the cost of buying a place in a shared house, just like when buying your own house.
A difference between buying of condominiums compared with your own property is that the buyer's inspection duties are not as extensive. Before you buy a condominium, it might be a good idea to contact the housing association's board to investigate the association's finances and the condition of the property. If the association has a poor economy or major repairs that have to be made, this may lead to higher fees for the residents.