condo for a starter home

For many young people looking to buy their first home, the traditional idea of a starter home—a small, simple house with a couple of bedrooms and a bathroom—has been a long-held dream. It was seen as a way to enter the world of homeownership, with the intention of eventually moving up to larger and more expensive homes as finances allowed.

However, the reality of today’s housing market tells a different story. According to recent data from®, home prices have reached a median of $415,500 nationwide, mortgage rates remain above 6.5%, and there’s a significant decrease in home inventory compared to previous years.

With the average cost of a single-family starter home now out of reach for many, some buyers are considering an alternative route to achieve homeownership: condos.

Condos, which are private homes within larger buildings, are generally priced around 5% to 7% lower than single-family homes. This affordability has made condos an attractive option for first-time buyers, especially in areas where single-family home prices have skyrocketed. A similarly sized condo can be found for significantly less than a single-family home … the price difference between condos and single-family homes is notable.

One of our clients bought a condo as his starter home at age 28. He focused on finding a condo within his budget and proximity to his job. His best friend, followed suit, opting for a condo due to financial constraints.

While condos may lack the traditional yard associated with single-family homes, some condo communities offer amenities like shared community spaces, smaller backyards and garages. However, affordability comes with additional considerations, such as homeowners association (HOA) fees, which cover the maintenance of shared spaces. Buyers need to factor these fees into their budget and carefully review HOA rules and regulations.

Although condo fees and HOA fees are similar, they differ in terms of ownership and responsibility for maintenance. However, both are essential considerations for condo buyers.

Despite the additional fees, condo ownership often translates to lower property taxes and insurance premiums compared to single-family homes. Condo owners typically pay for an HO-6 insurance policy, which covers the interior of their unit, while the exterior is maintained by the HOA.

Condos are emerging as the new starter homes for many budget-conscious buyers, offering affordability and a pathway to homeownership in a competitive real estate market.

Visit our website to find the condo of your dreams at or call 717-573-5733 to get connected with the Top Shelf Group … Where the highest quality of service is our signature!