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What Type of Home Should You Buy

So you’re thinking about buying a house, or a condo, or a townhouse, or something? How do you decide on what the right type of home to purchase is based on your budget and your lifestyle?

First of all, a lot of people, with lower price ranges particularly, often think a condo or a townhouse is going to solve all their problems, because usually, they’re a little less expensive, in most cases than a single-family home. Don’t forget that one of the things you have to include, and that your lender is going to look at, in your qualifications number, is the homeowners association, the condo association, whatever they want to call it, that community that you’re joining is going to have a fee every month. Sometimes it’s going to have special assessments, sometimes those fees can go up. But always, you’re going to want to make sure that the fee that is there now is going to work with your budget and the payment that you’re going to end up with, and that it’s going to cover enough to make you feel comfortable spending that money.

The main difference between a townhouse and a condo is the type of ownership. Basically, in a condo, you own what’s inside the four walls. Often people think of condos as units in a building like apartments. But, sometimes townhome-looking things can be condos as well. But again, you only own what’s inside those four walls. As opposed to having any land or garden yard, whatever that is yours. Obviously with a single-family home, unless you’re in a maintenance-free community, all of that exterior maintenance is going to be yours with a townhouse or a condo. Often, that fee is going to cover things like the landscaping and the outdoor areas. Usually, if there’s a pool or other amenities, tennis courts, that sort of thing, it’s going to cover those as well. But often, it will also cover siding, the roof, the exterior items like doors, and things like that. But those are going to be on a schedule. So there are a lot of moving parts. When you start looking at those associations, what they cover, and how they’re covered, you might be thinking, well, I’m not going to pay $250 a month because I can buy a house and then I’ll just mow my own grass. But, you can usually pretty much assume that you’re going to end up somehow spending at least $250 a month on your single-family home unless you are kicking some maintenance items down the road a little piece.

So while the money is important, often the lifestyle is even more important. More maintenance-free options, like townhomes and condos, I think are fantastic for a lock-it-and-leave-it mentality. If you travel a lot for work or you travel a lot for pleasure, or you just don’t have time to do yard work or it’s just not something you want to do. You don’t want to have to worry about getting quotes on a new roof. You want somebody else to deal with that. Or maybe you want the amenities that come with a townhome, a maintenance-free community, or a condo. Those are really lifestyle differences instead of just simple financial ones. Make sure that you read those documents well. You do have a three-day right of rescission, if you can’t live with the way that they take care of the property, what you’re paying for, or if it looks like their finances are shaky. You want to make sure that you’re comfortable not only with the amount of money, but also what you’re getting for the amount of money you’re paying. A condo or townhome may be for you if you want to have a little bit more of a hands-off approach to maintenance. Sometimes it’s worth it and sometimes it’s not.

If you’re thinking about buying I’d love to talk through it with you and help you determine what the best deal for you is for both your budget and your lifestyle to make sure that the home that you buy is one that you love to live in. Give me a call send me a message shoot me an email and let’s get started.