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Buying Property on the Jersey Shore – House or Condo?

So, you’ve decided to buy a property on the Jersey Shore – always a great choice! But do you buy a house or a condo? Like most everything else when making the decision to buy property, it comes down to personal preference. Let’s examine the differences.

Type of Ownership

When you buy a home, you are the sole owner of the house and the land that it sits on. When you buy a condo, your personal ownership typically includes everything from the walls in. However, ownership of the land, exterior of the building, common areas, and all amenities is shared with the other unit owners in the complex.


Condominiums are dictated by Covenants, Conditions andRestrictions (CCRs). While single-family homeowners make all the decisions regarding their home and property, condo owners have to adhere to the CCRs that may dictate things like pet ownership, barbecuing, renovations that can be made, and even what you can put in your window or on your front door.

Condos in Long Branch


Most condominium complexes hire a management company to take care of the exterior of the building, the common areas, and all amenities. For this reason, condos lend themselves to low-maintenance living. Homeowners are solely responsible for maintenance of every aspect of their homes and land.

Condo owners are subject to monthly maintenance fees and occasionally special assessments for large projects that must be taken care of and can’t be funded out of the reserves. Depending on the building and the amenities offered, these monthly maintenance fees can get pricey. Proximity to the beach can have an effect on maintenance fees as well, due to factors such as insurance rates (which tend to get higher as you get closer to the beach) and building maintenance issues, as the salt air can take its toll on building materials. In contrast, individual homeowners pay for their maintenance items as the need arises.


Condominium buildings typically have some type of secure entrance, whether it be by keyed lobby entrance, key fob, or doorman/concierge. It can offer a better level of security than a house if you are not going to live there as a primary residence, or if you plan to be away frequently.


Amenities vary depending on each individual complex, but you can find complexes that offer a multitude of great features – a pool (indoor and outdoor), a gym, community rooms, 24-hour concierge, and sometimes even restaurants. Costs for the use of the amenities are covered in your monthly maintenance fee. Investing in any one of these items could prove to be cost-prohibitive for most individual homeowners, making the condo lifestyleliving very attractive for many.


If you are seeking privacy, a condominium may not be the right thing for you: when you live in a complex, you are part of a community. Condos share walls, ceilings and floors…at least some level of noise probably cannot be avoided. Also, common areas are shared. You may be forced to have more interaction with your neighbors than you desire.


If you’d like to be close to the beach, typically it’s less costly to buy a condo – single-family homes within walking or biking distance to the beach can often be cost prohibitive. I say it all the time…”God only made so much oceanfront property. If you want it, you’re going to have to pay for it.”

Also, condos tend to be built in locations that offer easy access to shopping, dining, and major transportation.

In essence, there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of home ownership and individual preference will be the determining factor.

Exclusive interior ownership; shared exterior and common-area ownership Own the building and the land that it sits on
Must adhere to Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions of condominium complex Personal control over all decisions regarding the house and property
Low-maintenance living; Maintenance fees Sole responsibility for maintaining home and land
Secure buildings Must provide your own security
Amenities add to wonderful lifestyle living Individual amenities are usually sought outside the home (a gym for example).
Walls and common areas are shared…leads to less privacy Individual home ownership leans toward quiet enjoyment
More affordable if you want to be in close proximity to the beach Owning a home near the beach can prove to be cost-prohibitive

Have you made a decision? Call me today to find the home of your dreams!

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