It can be daunting to be on the market for a new home in Tri-Cities. Believe me, I was in that very position. Fortunately for my family, we bought our home in 2019 before the pandemic and the ensuing housing boom.

Photo by Ralph Kelly on Unsplash
Photo by Ralph Kelly on Unsplash
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The average cost of a home in Tri-Cities, Washington is around $400,000.

People living in Tri-Cities are facing an interesting predicament. Homeowners are seeing the value of their houses soar. But if they sell their house and make a nice profit, they still need to live somewhere so the money goes right back into a new, larger home. Those that want to become homeowners are being undermined by rising costs, bolstered by competitive offers that drive prices in the Tri-Cities up even higher.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
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My home's value has gone up by nearly $100,000 since I bought it.

When my wife and I were looking to buy a home in the spring of 2019, the market was still competitive. We had a price limit we set for ourselves. In order to avoid going "home broke," we capped ourselves at $200,000. What did $200,000 get you in Tri-Cities in 2019? Small, one or two-bedroom houses that often didn't have dishwashers, much less central air and heating. Our realtor, Barry, called us weekly even daily with new prospects but we felt whelmed. The market was competitive, even back then. Then one day, he said something absolutely brilliant. Condos are cheaper.

Photo by Marcus Lenk on Unsplash
Photo by Marcus Lenk on Unsplash
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Living in a condo has its perks.

If you can get over the fact that a condo can be much like living in an apartment, there are bountiful benefits to behold. For instance, I hate lawn work. I've never encountered something so unrewarding that has to be done with such regularity. I know, Hank Hill is crying somewhere at the thought of someone hating mowing their lawn. But, you know what? I haven't seen a goat head in three years. When it snows, our HOA hires someone to clear out the snow. We have a community pool, wonderful neighbors, and an amazing view of the Columbia River. Our condo has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a soft water tank, central air and heat, and is very spacious. We paid $180,000 in 2019 and the last time I checked, our home's value is closing on $300,000. Because we own our condo, we can remodel it, update the floors and kitchen and get even more value from it. The best part is, we're paying less for our mortgage than most renters.

Photo by Micah Carlson on Unsplash
Photo by Micah Carlson on Unsplash
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What are the downsides of owning a condo?

It's not all sunshine and roses, owning a condo means you pay a monthly HOA fee, and you can be on the hook for assessments. But, if the roof collapses, it's the HOA's responsibility to pay for repairs or a new roof. The entire association of homeowners pools money together to fund the fix. Thankfully, we have quiet neighbors but because I have people living in the walls, I can't blare Madonna at 2:00 in the morning on the weekend.

Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash
Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash
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These Tri-Cities condos are listed for $200,000 or less.

Should you decide that condo living is right for you, there are some options in Tri-Cities. Our condo sat on the market for months, meaning we didn't have to outbid anyone else. We also got far more value than if we bought a standard single-family home.

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119 N Waverly Pl Apt G, Kennewick

119 N Waverly Pl Apt G is a two-bedroom, one-bath condo with 1,020 square feet in Kennewick. It was first listed by Melissa Montgomery in February at $190,000 but the price has since dropped to $180,000.

The other listing is at 2401 W Canal Dr. Apt 4B in Kennewick. At $199,900, it has two bedrooms and two bathrooms and is about the same size as the other condo. Happy house hunting!

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