Multiple condos vs. 1 SFH

What do folks think of the following 2 scenarios:

  1. 1 SFH in good school area, in Mountain View, etc. Expected price range 2.5~2.7M

  2. 2 Condos / THs. One is already rented out, and looking to buy one close to work. Both are going to be bad school district. 2 properties combined, same as 1 SFH above.

Not looking to have kids, and if we do, not opposed to private schools (Willing to shell out the private school tuition for good commute).

Pro for 1): Be done with all this house hunting and live in that place for years to come. Grab onto the low(ish) rates and low property tax (prop 13).

Pro for 2): By renting out 1 condo, we’re deleveraging since renters are paying the PITI. The new TH will be close to work & hopefully brand new, so less headache for upkeeping etc.

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If you care about noise and privacy avoid shared walls for personal residence. I have lived in condos and THs in the past and refuse to in the future (unless it’s super well insulated and quiet). Unfortunately considering the age of stock in the Bay Area, it’s hard to find something that meets the above

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In this case, quality over quantity, so #1 for me. Besides, I hate condos/THs for the often mentioned items like limited freedom of remodeling and monthly HOA.


Multiple condos or townhouses are better financially. It’s more downturn-proof and you don’t even need the extra space of a SFH. Also the short commute will boost your happiness and wellbeing beyond your imagination.

Uh, no…

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@manch doesn’t know what he’s talking about again…

He’s your boy…talk some sense into him. One minute, he wants less for homeowners, now this…

In a 2 TH scenario, someone else is paying half your PITI. How’s that not more downturn proof?

What happened to scenario 3: Seattle?


Considering the areas that we are talking about, I am thinking a SFH would be a better bet to weather any storm better than a condo/TH would, especially since SFHs are not being built up as much as condos/THs.

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We put that as scenario 100. Figured if we last in BA without being too unhappy, we can go to Seattle any day we want. Turns it to be true already, with Seattle housing market being terrible at the moment compared to 6 months ago.

This is what I meant by deleveraging. It does feel like a more conservative strategy. To beat this, scenario 1) should outperform in appreciation by lots, but I just don’t see that happening beyond $3M mark.

I know that on this forum, there’s certain amount of stigma for condos/THs - would the answers be any different if I said Option 1) was 2 SFHs in less desirable areas(e.g. Fremont / Almaden Valley / etc)? That’s the worst scenario for me though; bad commute, and suburban area. :frowning:

I don’t care so much for noise per se - in all the places we’ve lived, we’re probably the noisiest neighbor in the complex (with the frequent parties on weekends :wink: )

2 Pros for Option 1) though:

  • I kinda want “some” backyard space with green space, but all the THs with backyard are older ones which is against the “open space” floor plans the newer ones.
  • Newer THs are being built in small pockets of lots in less desirable parts of MV. So walkability is not very good - bigger complexes typically have a retail options that you can walk to.

It’s mostly just me…

Right. But you’re the most vocal one at that. :wink:

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TH actually appreciate faster than SFH because they tend to be lower priced.

Look at the Case Shiller index. The condo index goes up faster.

Do you think you will stay with the same employer for a long long time? I’d not base my RE purchase on commute to current employer. It is highly unlikely you will work at the same place til retirement, unless you plan to move again.

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True. But in all likelihood, its going to be near PA/MV area or SF. And I’m still with the same employer for n years. :slight_smile:

How about older TH near Castro? Super walkable to downtown MTV. Walkable or bikable to Caltrain station for trips to SF.

There were some new townhomes near downtown Redwood City. They were going for $1.2ish ~2 years ago I think. Not sure how much they are now.

Certainly looking, though those have surpassed 2M mark a while back I think.