Buying a Single-Family Home vs Condo in Grand Rapids, MI

How different does it look when purchasing a single-family home vs a condo in Grand Rapids, MI? We have some great tips and things for you to keep in mind throughout the process. 

Investigate the Homeowner’s Association 

When purchasing a condo you’re always going to want to start with investigating the Homeowner’s Association (HOA), including understanding if the condo association is non-warrantable or warrantable. Non-warrantable would mean that you would need 20 to 25% down, whereas warrantable would mean you can get in as low as 3.5% FHA or 5% conventional. A couple of factors that go into non-warrantable are, is the condo association still building? Are there businesses in the building? Are the units rented more than they are homesteaded?

Review HOA Bylaws 

It’s also important to read the bylaws and understand the rules of the association, the amenities that come with the association, and whether or not pets are allowed. You will want to connect with the association to understand their finances. You want to think about questions like, how much do they have in reserves? How much do they generate yearly? What is their 10-year plan? Are there any assessments that are coming up that would raise your monthly HOA dues such as a new roof, decks, or driveways? You will want to find out how the association is managed. Is it being managed by a company or homeowners in the association? Typically, with inspections of a condo the home inspector is looking for mechanic problems, plumbing problems, and any electrical problems, as all of the exterior is owned by the HOA. Single-family homes can also have an association, so you would still follow some of these practices in that instance as well.

Buying a Single-Family Home 

With single-family homes, the buyer pool is going to be a little larger, especially in Grand Rapids which is something you’re going to want to keep in mind. When purchasing a single-family you’re going to want to understand the lot size and if a survey is necessary. Do you want to know if there are any retaining walls on the property? Are there any trees that are close to the house? What does the central air unit look like? You want to pay attention to all of the surroundings of the backyard. What type of foundation does the home have? What is the type of siding? What type of deck or patio and what is the condition of it? Have the windows been replaced? Does the home have gutters? What is the condition of the roof, furnace, and water heater?

The Interior of a Single-Family Home 

As we move into the interior, start to pay attention to what the paint job looks like. What kind of outlets do they have? Are they two-prong or three-prong? How does the electrical panel look? Are there any weird smells in the house? Does the seller have pets? Is the home clean? What is the condition of the flooring? As you can see, there’s a lot more responsibility with a single-family home versus a condo but at the end of the day, it’s all about what type of lifestyle is going to work best for you. 

Whether you’re looking for a condo, single-family home, or investment property, our team is here to help guide you through this process and make sure you don’t miss any of these important points as you view homes. If you’re ready to get started, connect with our team