Dear GR,
I’m finally at the point where I can purchase some property. It’s always been my dream. But is a condo or a house a better investment? I want to do it right the first time.
Future Homeowner

Dear Kid,
Congrats on your decision to become a grown-up. The main consideration now is whether you prefer privacy or laziness. Condos are great for the not-so-handy, or folks that are allergic to yard work (something you can’t really blame them for here in Texas). You can leave for an extended period of time and know that the maintenance crew (whose fees you will pay monthly) won’t let your home fall into ruin while you take a two-week beach vacation to Cabo. On the other hand, condos have a fairly high population density, so you’re going to have neighbors all up in your space; And no private yard to do with as you will. The Association may also have rules about what sort of pets you may keep, or what color you can paint your bathroom. So, do your homework. Owning your own home means being able to call the shots (unless it’s in a neighborhood ruled by an oppressive HOA), and you might be able to score a fair-sized chunk of land, but you’re also responsible for all of the upkeep. Then again, that’s why handymen and lawn care companies exist.