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Are condos still a good deal?

Due diligence a must when shopping for this housing option

For years, the American dream was to own your own home, which meant a single-family home. One reason for this was that single-family residences appreciated well over time. Condos didn't. That was true until the last couple of years when median-price gains for condos actually outpaced single-family residence median-price gains nationally. In 2005, the median price on condos was up approximately 13 percent over the previous year, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. The 2006 housing market is a different story. Rising interest rates and growing inventories of condos for sale are contributing to a slow down, in some areas an extreme slowdown. For example, according to the Florida Association of Realtors, statewide existing condo sales for April decreased 37 percent from the April 2005 sales volume. The median sales price of Florida condos sold in April 2006 rose 4 percent from...