Different Types of Home Ownership
It’s a new year, and for many that means achieving a new goal such as home ownership! It is a great time to start planning and shopping for that new home. Whether you’re a first time buyer or moving up, there are numerous factors to consider about your investment. The main one being, what you can afford and what type of home that translates into. A big part of a property’s value is where it is located, especially in the Northern Virginia area. Understanding the different types of property in those areas will allow you to make the best decision before buying.
A single family home is a detached property located on its own property lot. Some single family homes are located in neighborhoods with HOAs that require a monthly, quarterly, or annual payment. An HOA fee may cover anything from common ground maintenance to pools or clubhouses. The association will also have rules for the community to follow, this helps maintain the state of the neighborhood and home values. Another thing to consider is that the owner of the single family home is responsible for all maintenance of the home and property. However, the biggest positive for a single family home is that it offers the most privacy out of the different types of homes. That being said, single family homes tend to be the more expensive home ownership option.
After a single family home comes a townhouse. They are usually a more affordable option than single family homes in the same area. Some townhomes are even comparable in size to a single family home. The biggest difference is that townhomes tend to be built in a row and share walls between units. Similar to a single family home, owners are responsible for maintaining the exterior of their home and many even have a small amount of property as well. A townhome community also has an HOA that maintains common grounds and sometimes even amenities.
The last option in home ownership is a condominium, also known as a condo. This is not only a different type of home, but a lot comes down to the type of ownership in the neighborhood as well. A condo can be either an apartment style unit, like in a high rise building, or they may appear as a townhome style built in a row. In each case, each unit is individually owned. Regardless of the style, the owners of a condo will be responsible for paying either an HOA or Condo association and in many cases both. These play a big impact in what your mortgage payment will be. The condo association or HOA maintain the exterior, all the common grounds and amenities. Some condo fees also include utilities and other benefits such as pools or gyms in the building. Another big difference in this type of ownership is that while owners own their individual unit, they all share ownership of the exterior, grounds, amenities, etc.
There are positives and negatives to each of these different types of ownership. While shopping the various options in your area of choice, it is important to consider all the different payments and how they will ultimately affect your monthly mortgage payment. For example in some areas high condo fees may make owning a townhome with a lower HOA fee more affordable. So while considering your options, make sure to talk to your realtor and lender and make the most informed decision about what will work best for you.
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