Condominiums occupy a special gray area for home buyers, appealing to both those starting out and those looking to downsize. For new home buyers, it can be a more affordable way to own something, even if it’s just the living area and not the land. For homeowners who want to downsize, it’s a way to own a home without paying the high taxes, insurance or endless exterior maintenance and yard work.

Condos are usually located close to downtown areas, which makes going out for errands or weekend outings with friends easier. And they’re like a small community. A tight-knit neighborhood is easier when neighbors share walls, and this may be a welcome change for some retirees.

However, there are downsides to owning a condominium. The resale value typically is not anywhere near the values that homes get. There is an HOA, and most condo associations have rules about behavior (no wild parties!) that may make a lot of people shy away. But for those who either just want to start establishing some kind of equity, or those who don’t want to be responsible for the upkeep on a house they’ve been in for decades, a condo can be exactly what they’re looking for.

Click through the gallery above to see the latest condos available in Sonoma County.