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House, Condo, or Townhouse? Info For First Time Homebuyers

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Row of Townhouses
©iStockphoto.com – LeggNet

When deciding what type of house to buy, potential buyers are faced with a dilemma. Should I buy a house? Maybe a condominium would be better for my family and I. On the other hand, the area has some ideal townhouses as well. This can be a stressful part of deciding where to move and what type of home market to look into, and the moving process is stressful enough as it is. When deciding between each potential home market, there are variables that pertain to each that need to be considered. Think each through carefully before choosing the area in which you wish to settle down. The type of home you purchase will also impact your down payment plans. Doing your research while saving up your first home mortgage down payment is a great plan!

Should I Buy A House?

The house market is one of the most common markets for potential homeowners that either have children or are wanting to have children. A house is often a better choice for the obvious size reason, but neighborhood is a second reason to choose a home. Neighborhoods or subdivisions that include houses are often more family-friendly and will have activities and job opportunities more geared toward that group of individuals. Schools are more often located near areas where houses are located, and prices will be set accordingly. On the other hand, a house can often be a lot more work than a townhouse or condominium. Home repairs can be costly, and upkeep and maintenance can be a greater hassle than with any other type of home. In addition, selling a house can often take longer and require a higher closing cost and real estate fee than a townhouse or condominium. The home itself will have a lot to do with this, and the location thereof.

Is A Condominium The Best Choice For My 1st Home?

When purchasing a condominium, consider the size of your family. Those with small children will want a place for them to play, and there are few, if any, condominiums that offer fenced in yards. Many buildings that lease, rent, or sell condominiums are generally geared toward the older generations or vacationers, so local activities can be out of the range of many children and young adults. The job market can also be drastically different in these locales. On the other hand, for young couples who do not see children in their near future, a condominium can be a wise decision. The monthly mortgage payment and overall purchase price is generally significantly less for a condo than for a home, and, in the long run, both young couples without children and older middle-aged adults will probably benefit more from this type of community. As with any other purchase, weigh all of the pros and cons before making an offer instead of during or after to avoid being hit with a last minute problem or a potentially overlooked circumstance. The first few months in any new place are often the hardest, and avoiding complications whenever possible is a bonus.

How About A Townhouse?

A townhouse is sometimes the best way to go. Many townhouses are almost the size of small homes, and can offer a nice place to live that is much easier to keep up than a full-sized home. This is especially true in the case of widows and widowers, elderly couples, couples with grown children, and more. Townhouses are often more private than condominiums, and cater to more of the older generation than do condominiums or houses because of the easier upkeep and cheaper insurance options. When choosing a townhouse, keep in mind the special needs of those moving in. Stairs, swimming pools, long or tight hallways, lack of wheelchair access, and other things can be a concern for those who are elderly or disabled. These types of questions have to be answered before placing a bid or offer for a townhouse, to avoid trouble later. If you are a young couple purchasing a townhouse for a primary home, make sure the area is suitable in comparison to the asking price, daily commute, job opportunities, and other considerations.

Plan Your Future While Saving Up Your Down Payment

Overall, there are pros and cons of all three options. Owning your own home is the American dream (which you deserve) and be sure to consider your options while saving up your home loan down payment. Saving up your down payment will often take a few years and this provides a perfect time to thoroughly research your options. Once you have your down payment saved up, you will be ready to go and know exactly what you're looking for. Additionally, why not learn all about mortgage loans for 1st time home buyers and real estate agents for 1st time home buyers while saving for your house?

This article is written by guest author Doreen Martel exclusively for Save For House.

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