Select A Department:

Courses in this Department

How Ready Are You to Buy a Home?

Determining Your Dream Home and Finding It!

Factory Built Homes Are Worth a Look

Purchase Manufactured Homes with FHA Loan

How to Buy a Foreclosed Home

Pros and Cons of Corner Lots

Know the Neighborhood Before You Buy

Tune in to an Open House on the Radio

Finding a Qualified Broker or Agent

Shopping for a Loan and Choosing a Lender

How to Improve Your Credit

How to Survive the Loan Application Process

Making an Offer and Signing Contracts

Cancel Your Contract in 3 Days

Understanding the Closing/Settlement Process

Choosing Home Inspection and Settlement Professionals

Double Check Your New Home - The Walkthrough

Know Your Consumer Rights

Seniors Have Many Housing Opportunities

Preparing for the Big Day -- Relocating Moving

Make Your Home Your Castle - Cost Effective Redecorating Ideas


Do You Know All the Types of Homes Available?

Most people don't even if they already own.

Now that you know how to hunt for a home, let's look at the types of homes you may want to look at. There are lots of options when buying a home of your own. You don't necessarily have to buy into the idea of a single family home surrounded with the idyllic white picket fence. You may be more inclined to go for the condo or loft.

Some people may be better suited for a condo-for example, those people who hate to garden. Other types may be more comfortable in a single family home where Rover and the kids can play in the backyard. There are no right answers. You should find the home type that suits you best.

A Brief Look

Here is a quick overview of the types of homes available:

Single Family Home

This is what pops into mind when people think of buying a home. It may range from a one-story ranch house to a two-story Colonial to a three-story Victorian perched on a hill, but it is definitely a home of your own. You don't have walls that adjoin to anyone else's house. You own the land and the house upon it.

This is the American Dream´┐Żor is it? Maybe you don't want the hassle of mowing the lawn or tending the garden. Maybe the idea of cleaning gutters is beyond you. If this is the case, a single family home may not be the best option for you. However, if you have children and want to have a backyard for them to play in, it may be top on your list. But there are other options in between.


A Duplex is a home that is attached to another. Basically it is one structure that is divided into two homes. You purchase one side of the structure and are responsible for your half. The houses are totally separate inside. They merely share a wall in the middle. This option still comes with its own yard, but you normally get a price break because of the semi-detached nature of the home. The key to this type of living, as with any multi-family structure, is your neighbor. Be careful who lives next door.


Townhouses are normally slender homes that are built in a row where each home shares at least one wall, normally two, with the neighbors. You own the house and the land it sits on for the purchase price. A Homeowner's Association normally cares for the common property in most townhouse communities.


Condominiums (or Condos) are often found in city centers or urban areas. They consist of apartments that are owned by individuals. However, unlike the other types of homes listed before, you don't actually own the structure in a condo. Rather, you own the air space between the walls of your unit and share ownership of the common spaces with the other condo owners. Condos can be found in many shapes and sizes including large structures divided into apartment-like homes to duplexes, townhouses or other structures.

Condos are defined by the ownership structure, not the structure itself. In most cases, there are Condo Associations that raise money to care for the common spaces. If something needs to be fixed or added that is not covered by the regular condo fees, the owners can be assessed an additional fee above the monthly fee to cover the new charge.

Co-operative Apartments

Unlike condos, where you have an outright mortgage on a unit that you can sell, a co-operative apartment is a share in a corporation that owns the apartments. You don't actually own your apartment; you own shares in the corporation that owns it. Your shares allow you to lease your apartment from the corporation for a monthly assessment based on the amount of your shares.

Co-ops are very popular in areas like New York. Just note that like the condo you will be assessed a monthly fee to cover maintenance and the like. Although, unlike condo fees, co-op fees normally include payment for your portion of the taxes. This means your monthly fee will be steeper than a condo fee. For a direct comparison you need to add the taxes to the condo fee.

Manufactured Homes

A manufactured home is one that is prefabricated, not built from scratch the traditional way. While manufactured homes used to mean trailer park homes, today's manufactured homes are a little different. They can come complete with garages, vaulted ceilings and other luxury details. Because the construction takes place in one location at the factory, the costs are lower.

Nearly one quarter of all homes sold in this country is manufactured. They are worth looking into as an inexpensive alternative to a single family home.

Fit Your Needs and Your Family

It doesn't matter what type of home you want to buy. What matters is that it matches your needs and your budget.

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