House vs. Townhouse vs. Condo vs. Custom House: Which is the Best Investment?


Many home-buyers with big budgets are torn between buying or building a home. Both options offer amazing advantages. But both options also often go over the budget.

Choosing to buy can lead to two more options: a townhouse and a condo. Urban areas are full of those, and they offer many perks like easy maintenance, numerous amenities, and superb security. However, a condo, in particular, has no land. That may be a downside because the land has its own value that can affect a home’s overall value.

In addition, owning land gives you the freedom to build other structures around your home. But, considering the costs of a custom home or house-and-land package, the other options can be tempting.

So, which one makes the best investment?

Detached Home

Detached Home

A detached home comes with two main advantages: convenience and cost. You only need to be pre-approved for a mortgage, and you’re all set to shop around and make an offer.

Moreover, a real estate agent can help you find the best deals for your budget. They will also guide you through negotiations, inspections, and paperwork. You may close the deal and move in within a month or two when the seller accepts your offer, depending on the circumstances.

Buying a detached home is the right decision if you’re on a tight schedule. Though the process isn’t always short and quick, it’s still faster than building a home, which may take around one year to finish. Additionally, a detached, occupant-ready home is perfect for a family. Suppose you need to relocate for your job and take your family with you. A detached, occupant-ready home can give you what you need and more.

However, while buying a detached home is cheaper than building a home, it still costs a lot. Location, market, and economic factors affect a home’s selling price. For instance, if you’d buy a home in Manhattan, your budget can’t be the same as your budget for a home in Orlando. You’d need hundreds of dollars more, and you may only afford a one-bedroom home if you didn’t qualify for a big mortgage.


A townhouse is a narrow, multilevel property attached to other properties along a street. It can be an attractive alternative to a detached home. Living in a townhouse lets you own the land it stands upon, unlike a condo.

However, the land around the townhouse is usually small. It may only serve as a garage. As such, it’s not the best place for children to play. You can only take them to the public park if they wish to play in a spacious area.

But if you’re only living alone, with a significant other, or with a small, young family, a townhouse may suit you. It’s cheaper than a detached house, though you may need to pay monthly dues to the homeowner’s association. But your fees will be used to mow your lawn and the general upkeep of your property and neighborhood.


A condo is a luxurious property usually situated in a high-rise building. Some condos are cheaper than townhouses because they have no land, but the amenities can hike the price up for a small unit. Condos usually have pools, gyms, entertainment areas, lounging areas, and shops. The maintenance of those amenities will determine your monthly homeowner’s association fees.

But the security and convenience of living in a condo are hard to match. Hence, it may be the best investment if you’re living alone.

Custom Home

Without a doubt, building a custom home is the most expensive option. But it might also offer the highest return on investment (ROI).

You’d first buy prime land before building a home. This investment alone can benefit you. You can buy land even without plans to build a home because you can resell that land for a profit when its value appreciates in the future. Alternatively, if you already have the architectural plans for your custom home, you only need to find the perfect land, and you’re good to start building.

A custom home is costly, but it’s the best option if you have long-term goals. You’re free to design the home however you want, allowing you to boost its value anytime. In addition, you can plan the space and choose materials according to your taste and lifestyle.

The main downside, of course, is time. You can only buy an existing home, townhouse, or condo if you’re in a hurry. Otherwise, if you’re willing to wait and have ample budget, you’re ready to start building.

But note that whichever property type you choose, you’ll deal with long-term expenses, like utilities, maintenance, and insurance. Homeownership will always be costly, so ensure that you’re 100% ready before embarking on it.

Like and Share

About The Author

Scroll to Top