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Should You Buy a Condo or Single-Family Home in San Bernardino & Riverside Counties?

Should you buy a condo or single-family home in San Bernardino & Riverside Counties? The answer to that question depends, of course, on what you want – your preferences and your needs. Both condos and single-family homes have their pros and cons. Either way you go, it’s a big purchase that you’ll be paying on for a long time, to you need to take the time to carefully consider all aspects. 


For many people, the answer to “Should you buy a condo or a single-family home in San Bernardino & Riverside Counties?” hinges on the initial cost. Generally speaking, condos cost less than houses. A lot of it depends on geographic location and local demand, but condos are usually a better purchase bargain, especially in a higher-cost market.

For example, 2017 surveys from the National Association of Realtors revealed that the median price of single-family homes was $240,900 while for condos it was $225,100. The price of condos is usually actually lower than that because these figures include a large share of luxury units, and location makes a big difference as well.

But keep in mind that not all condo developments will be eligible for FHA loans. For the requirements include having a minimum of 50% occupancy.

Appreciation and Re-sale

With any real estate purchase, it’s always wise to consider both appreciation potential and resale value. You just never know what the future holds, and you may have to sell at some point even if you never really intended to.

As a general rule, condos don’t appreciate at the rate single-family homes do. Further, with condos, the governing association oversees management of the financial health of the development and neighborhood. When you factor those two things in, it sometimes turns out that you lose money when you sell a condo.

Also, single-family homes are usually easier to sell than condos. First, there are usually more people looking to buy single-family homes. And when trying sell a condo and if any neighbors are trying to sell too, you don’t have much to differentiate your home from the others because units are pretty much the same.

Privacy and Security

Privacy and security are big issues for some people and play a big part in answering “Should you buy a condo or a single-family home inSan Bernardino & Riverside Counties?” The run-down is that a single-family home offers more privacy while a condo generally provides more security.

A single-family home is a detached self-contained unit, with yards and fences, and shares no walls with neighboring homes. So the privacy potential is much higher.

A condo, however, generally comes with some kind of security measures in place as part of the package of services you get for your HOA fees.There are also the closer ties to neighbors and so the safety that comes with numbers and close relationships.


And there are restrictions to consider, restrictions that determine what you can and can’t do with your home. If freedom to do pretty much as you please with your home is important to you, then a single-family home wins hands down.

Condo associations restrict quite a number of activities – for example, smoking or cooking out on balconies, painting, and even renovating the interior. And if you violate the covenants, conditions, and restrictions, you will be subject to fines – and in extreme cases asked to leave.

So in order to answer the question, “Should you buy a condo or a single-family home in San Bernardino & Riverside Counties?” first take a good, hard look at price, appreciation and re-sale, privacy and security, and restrictions. Carefully assessing your needs and desires and then weighing the pros and cons of each will help you make the right decision.


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