There is a lot to consider when purchasing a second home in Park City. Whether you have been vacationing in Park City for a decade or you are a first timer who has fallen in love, it’s good to weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a condominium compared to a single-family residence.
The Upside of Condos as a Second Home
One of the attractive features of owning a condo is the freedom from home maintenance. The lawn will be cut, the snow will be shoveled and the building will be painted all at appropriate intervals. There is a certain amount of freedom in not having to think or worry about the general maintenance of the exterior of the property. The “lock and leave” aspect of condo ownership is very appealing.
Many condos are gated, in locked buildings or have on-site security. This can be a major perk if living alone or if you plan to be a part-time resident. Condo properties are located close together so if you ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your place, chances are that they will.
Generally More Affordable
Even when the price per square foot is comparable to a single family home, a condo purchase is often less costly because you are not purchasing land. If value is a priority for you, then a condo might be the right fit.
The Downside of Condos
There is a certain lack of privacy when properties are located close together, so you’ll have to take each condo complex design into consideration for your needs. Also, a condominium homeowner’s association is run and managed by the residents and there are a fair number of rules and restrictions. Be sure you have a good understanding of what’s in the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&R’s) before you make any investment in a planned community. It is also a good idea to have a conversation with either the HOA President, the property manager, or both before purchasing a condominium.
The Upside of Single Family Second Homes
Homes tend to have more indoor and outdoor space, which allows for more privacy. There can also be more storage inside the home and a private garage which comes in handy in snowy Park City. Depending on the condo complex rules and whether the units are stacked, single-family homes tend to better accommodate families, children and pets.
As a single-family homeowner, you have control of the property. If you want to upgrade the property, there are fewer rules, so your creative juices can run freely. But many single family homes in Park City are located in communities with strong CC&R’s. This means you might need to approval of the HOA’s architectural review committee if you are planning on making exterior changes, to include everything from installing solar panels to changing the paint color.
According to MoneyUnder30.com, condos “don’t appreciate in value at the rate that homes do. So while average initial investment might be lower with a condo, you will gain equity faster with a home.
The Downside of Homes
Maintenance is a larger concern in a single-family home. Depending on the HOA, you are responsible for all interior and exterior upkeep which includes landscaping and snow removal. You will need to hire a team of professionals to maintain your home in your absence. It is also a good idea to enlist the services of a property manager who will check your home on a regular basis. Small problems (like leaks) can turn into large ones if they are left unchecked for weeks at a time.
At the present time, the median list price of a single family home in Park City proper (84060) is $3,495,000. The median condo list price is $1,749,500. The median list price of a single family home in Snyderville Basin (84098) is $2,237,500 and the median condo list price is $652,500. Clearly, condominiums are the more affordable option and may be the logical option depending on one’s budget.
Vacation Rental Income for Condos or Homes
The upside of second homeownership – whether you decide on a single family or condominium – is that most allow for vacation rentals and some even have onsite management and a front desk to facilitate such rentals. If you are looking at property management companies, consult my preferred list or feel free to contact me. I do not get any benefits for promoting these companies, they’re just the local folks I’ve had good experiences with.