Thanks to the two latest graphs below from The Cromford Report, we can tell a lot about the differences between the single family (SFR) market and the condominium (condo) market here in the East Valley – which includes Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, and Gilbert.

Single Family Median Sales Price May 2012 Condo Median Sales Price May 2012

For one thing, the median sales price of condominiums in the East Valley has actually appreciated more over the last year than the median sales price of single family residences has.

On the other hand, as expected, single family residences are currently selling at a higher median sales price, in part because its median sales price never sunk as low as the median sales price of condos did.

Neither statistic is necessarily more important than the other, but both of them remind us that buying a home is a complex decision. So, before you buy your next home, ask yourself a few questions.

Condo vs. House

1. When I eventually sell this home, will I look back and care more about how much it appreciated, or how much I enjoyed the lifestyle it provided for me?

2. Which is more important? Paying the lowest possible price for a home, or paying the best possible price considering the amenities the home has?

3. In order to debate the true cost of buying a lower-priced condominium vs. a higher-priced single family residence, have I considered the higher costs of owning a condominium (e.g., higher homeowners association (HOA) assessments, higher mortgage interest rates (sometimes), higher down payment requirements (sometimes), higher upfront closing fees, etc.)?

4. If a home’s potential for appreciation is important to me, am I considering its short-term and long-term potential?

If you’ve purchased a condo or single family residence in the last five years, I’d love to hear from you now. Which type of property did you buy, and why?

Source: The Cromford Report