When you're looking for a home, things can get overwhelming. Knowing which kind of property you want is step one, so we made this list to help you determine where you want to start your search.
These types of homes are the ones that are built separately on a single lot of land. Chances are this properties have attached or detached garages. They are usually owned by a single person. Single-family homes have a wide price range, depending on the location, construction type, square footage and the size of land.
A single-family home offers more privacy and exterior spaces like front and back lawns or gardens. A huge advantage of these residences is that they allow homeowners to personalize the design and decoration of their houses. Statistically, they are easier to sell, compared to condos or townhouses. However, single-family homes require more maintenance and attendance, which can mean that you will need a bigger budget to keep up with repairs, or appliance upgrades.
Condos are single units within a building or private community. They share walls with other units and usually, there is more than one per level. These residences can be habitable for small families, a couple or a single person. They are built in many sizes and designs. Generally, there is a homeowner association (HOAs) that collects monthly payments from residents.
The main characteristic of condos is that they require minimal responsibility from homeowners. they require you to pay a monthly payment that will encompass maintenance, security, and other shared costs. Condos usually include gyms, common areas, like lounges, pools, decks, terraces, eating and sitting areas, fireplaces, game rooms, etc. Another perk is that they are commonly close to restaurants, malls, supermarkets, urban locations, public transportation stations, and stops. If you are comfortable with the idea of not being allowed to remodel and/or personalize your home, then a condo is the right fit for you, due to HOAs often have some limitations regarding this matter. A downside would be the number of parking lot spaces are limited.
These residences are a hybrid between a condo and a single-family home, being larger than the former but smaller than the latter. Having multiple floors usually three to four levels, they include a basement and an attic. They share one to two walls with neighbors.
Privacy is better in a townhouse rather than in a condo, and they might have a joint maintenance committee where they agree to share some expenses. Parking spaces can be limited as well as green private areas. The inside of these residences can be spacious, although it cannot be compared to a single-family home. Therefore, they tend to be more affordable. Private amenities like pools and gyms might not be included in a townhouse community.
Cooperatives or co-ops can look alike to condos, but it is far from the truth. The unit is not owned by one person,; rather, the whole building is owned by every resident. Due to the large amount of responsibility that owners have to take on, there is usually an interview process to become a member of the community.
Cooperative owners usually handle maintenance as a community, meaning that their dues are much lower as it tends to be cheaper than a condo. Financing a co-op can be more difficult since it requires a bigger down payment, which most banks won't support it. Besides, sharing mortgages costs with neighbors means that if one of them stops paying the bank or lender, a foreclose on the whole building can be expected.
These residences are the least common of them all. Basically, they are a house that has been turned into two or even more units. They can be built or divide as a rowhouse-style or on multiple floors. There are plenty of size ranges and square footage. There are some residences that have a private entrance and others that share the main one. The biggest difference between them and other residence types is that the building is owned by one person.
These types of homes are ideal for investors; you can buy and rent the rest of the units. These hybrids (single-family and condos) have less privacy. On the other hand, costs, such as maintenance, are the landlord's responsibility, in case you are willing to rent. Being the landlord means you have to take care of the property and be responsible for maintenance and replacements when needed.
Buying a home takes time and effort. Whichever you choose, make sure it adjusts within your needs, tastes, and price range!