Congratulations on deciding to buy a home! It is an exciting time filled with so many choices. One of those very basic choices is figuring out exactly which one of the three types of homes to buy.
Here is a quick easy guide to those types.
Single Family Home
Most people first think of a single family house when buying a home. The designation of a single family home means a house that sits on its own piece of land and is detached from any other home. The land is sold together with the house. With a single family home, you can pretty much do whatever you want with the home as far as painting, adding on, putting in a pool, etc. Of course, you still need to comply with your town or jurisdiction’s rules and regulations. This type of home is the most common type and probably easiest to resell.
A townhouse, is the middle ground of home buying. The home is attached to other houses that are owned by others (your neighbors). The townhouse can be attached to only one other house, as in the case of a twin or duplex, it can be part of a huge complex of attached homes, or it can fall somewhere in between. The townhouse comes with its own piece of land (that can and often includes a backyard) that is included with the house. In the case of a large community, you may also have ownership of shared area that could include a pool, park area, etc. This would depend on the agreements in place when you buy. You may have to be part of a homeowners association with its own rules and regulations, and that can have a big impact on the experience of owning your home.
A condominium (condo) can be described as just like an apartment that you own instead of renting. You own a unit in a larger building or complex, and your direct ownership is basically limited to that area of rooms. You are also considered a partner with all of the other condo owners (neighbors) and share in the responsibility and ownership of the exterior areas, roof, stairs and other structures. There may also be common areas you share, such as a pool, exercise room, clubhouse, etc. As owner of a condo, you will need to pay a monthly fee to the condo association. This fee is used for the general maintenance and also as a savings pool for future repairs or needs. You may also be charged assessments as needed, such as a one-time assessment to repair the roof, for example. A condo is usually the least expensive option in home buying. You will get more interior square footage for the same price when compared to a single family home or townhouse.