When buying a property which one fits you best?

What’s Important to You in a Home?

Buying a house brings up many questions and ideas of what is important.  Our checklist of questions should help you formulate well thought out wish list.

General

  • How long do you plan to live there?  The longer you plan to stay, the more life changes you’ll need to plan for.
  • Do you have or plan to have kids?  Consider schools, bedrooms, playroom, yard size, parks.
  • Want a fixer?  Do you have the time, money & commitment to see it through?
  • Is a new home or older home best for you?
  • Do you need to be near public transportation?
  • Will you like or dislike having a Homeowners Association?

Finding a home with space to convert to living areas such as an attic or basement may solve future needs.

Exterior

  • Will parking for guests be necessary?
  • Is a garage a must?
  • Need a large yard or will maintenance overwhelm you?
  • Is a pool or hot tub a plus or a minus?
  • What home styles are ideal and which are a definite “no”?
  • If you need a fenced yard, can you afford to build one?
  • Is a lot of landscaping or gardening good or bad?

Interior

  • Do you like or dislike basements?
  • How many bedrooms/den/office space you’ll need?
  • Are there floorplans or styles that you dislike?
  • How many bathrooms will you need over the time you’ll own the home?  Consider kids, roommates and overnight visitors.
  • Can you afford to do cosmetic work such as carpet and paint?
  • Do you like or dislike a wood stove or fireplace?

Positives & Negatives of Condos, Townhomes & Detached Homes

CONDOMINIUM

Positives

  • You can lock up your home and be gone for weeks at a time with few worries
  • You don’t ever have to paint the siding or repair the roof
  • You may get to use a nice pool without having to pay to install or maintain it by yourself
  • Many owners feel more secure because there are neighbors watching out for you
  • Condos are less expensive than detached homes in the same neighborhood

Negatives

  • There may be restrictions on the size, number or type of pets you have
  • If the HOA does not have enough money for maintenance problems, they can assess you thousands of dollars to pay for it. We’ve seen special assessment as high as $40,000 for major repairs that were not properly budgeted for.
  • How do they pay for major improvements – from reserves built up from  monthly fees or from special assessments at the time of a problem?
  • You may hear more noise from neighbors than in a detached home
  • Condos don’t tend to sell as quickly as single family homes
  • You may not be able to rent your unit out, depending on the rules for the complex
  • Condo complexes must be “approved” in order to obtain FHA financing (talk to your lender)

TOWNHOME

Positives

  • Typically easier to sell than a condo since it is more like a detached home
  • Less expensive than a detached home
  • Ease of living because much of the maintenance may be taken care of by the HOA
  • You may get the benefit of a pool, tennis courts, etc. without the expense of
  • Owning them by yourself

Negatives

  • Like condos, you will be subject to the rules and restrictions of the neighborhood
  • Townhouses can have special assessments like condos
  • When its time to sell, you’ll have something very similar to other unit owners so it can be harder to sell than a detached home

DETACHED HOME

 Positives

  • Usually the easiest to sell and the most sought after form of ownership
  • No monthly dues in most cases
  • Control over painting, landscaping, expenses and maintenance