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.
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
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.
is the American Dream. . .or 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.
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.
(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
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.
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.
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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