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Understanding Types of Homes

 What You'll Learn

  • Your location can be the determining factor on your home type
  • Before considering a single-family home, ask yourself if you’re ready for the yardwork
  • Condominium living can provide a maintenance-free lifestyle, but you’ll need to factor in HOA fees

If you’re in the market to buy, you need to decide what type of home you want:  single-family, townhome or condominium.  Each type has its advantages and disadvantages and whether or not one is right for you depends on your finances, lifestyle and stage of life. 

Remember that your desired location will likely determine the type of home you can afford.   For example, if your budget is $150,000 and you want to live in the city, a four-bedroom single-family home may be out of reach, but a condominium or townhouse may be within reach.

Single-Family

Typically, these are the largest of the property types – providing you with the most privacy, space and appreciation.  The downside?  They can be expensive and you’re responsible for every aspect of the home – requiring both time and money.

Benefits of single-family living:

  • More privacy
  • More property surrounding your home
  • Home appreciation is typically faster
  • You have more control over your home

Also consider manufactured housing, an affordable housing option. Learn more

Townhomes

Townhomes can offer many of the benefits of condominium and single-family living at a more affordable price.   Oftentimes they are a good fit for first-time homebuyers who don’t want all the responsibilities that come with a single-family home.

Benefits of townhome living:

  • Typically more affordable than single-family homes and can serve as a nice entryway to homeownership
  • Typically two levels, they offer good living space
  • Some include amenities such as parks and playgrounds
  • They don’t require a lot of outside maintenance

Condominiums

Condominiums can provide you with a maintenance-free, “on-the-go” lifestyle, typically located in urban settings and walkable to shops, restaurants, and transportation. A downside of condominiums can be their homeowners association fees which can be expensive.

Benefits of condominium living:

  • Maintenance-free living
  • Access to amenities, such as pools and fitness centers
  • Walkability to shops, restaurants and public transportation

 Tip

About 20% of today’s homeowners live in communities governed by HOAs and must be prepared for the membership dues

  Key Takeaways

  1. Townhomes can provide a nice entryway to homeownership

  2. Your finances and lifestyle will play a big role in determining the type of home that’s right for you

  3. If you travel a lot and don’t have the time or desire for maintenance, a condominium could be a good option

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