There are differences between buying a single-family home and a townhome or condo. Use these four secrets to make sure you make the right decision for you and your family.
1. Decide How to Integrate a Townhome or Condo into Your Future Plans
People like townhome living for a number of reasons. Some people enjoy the sense of community in a multi-family neighborhood. Some people are looking for low-maintenance living. Regardless of your reasons to purchase a townhome or condo, one thing you need to recognize is that these types of homes don’t appreciate as quickly as single-family homes.
Therefore, if you’re planning on a long-term stay in your townhome or condo, the rate of appreciation isn’t as critical. But, if you’re a young couple or family looking to move to a single-family home in the near future, make your plans with a realistic idea of how much your home will appreciate over time.
If you’re new to retirement and downsizing to a townhome or condo, recognize that unless you are familiar with community living, you may not stay in a townhome or condo as long as you originally planned.
Consider your long-term plans and how community living will fit.
2. Learn What Everyone Ought to Know about Buying a Townhome or Condo
What’s the difference between a townhome and a condominium? In general, you’ll most often see a townhome defined as a row of single units that share a wall on either side except for the end units. Generally, you’ll see a multi-story building with separate homes on separate floors called a condominium or condo.
It’s important to know that these terms are also used to describe the type of ownership. There are several types of ownership, but these are the most common:
- A condo or condominium is defined as a form of multi-family living where the homeowner owns the interior of the home. The exterior and all community property is centrally owned and maintained.
- A townhome is defined as multi-family living where the homeowner owns the interior and exterior of their home along with the land on which it sits. The community property is centrally owned and maintained.
When you’re looking at townhomes and condos, keep in mind that the ownership of a building that looks like a 2-story townhome could fall into the condo ownership category. Make sure you know the type of ownership that’s in any community you visit.
3. Ask the Right Questions About Every Community
Besides ownership type, there are other facts you need to know about a townhome or condo that are different from the questions you ask when buying a single-family home.
- Association Fees – Make sure you understand what the monthly fees are and what they include.
- Association Rules – Review the bylaws of the association. Look for policies that address things like fences, noise, rental of your home, and the design of the exterior of your home.
- Lawsuits – Find out if there are any lawsuits in progress. A lawsuit may not affect you, but you need to know about any legal issues.
- Reserve Amounts – The association should keep monies in reserve to address unplanned repairs, for example. Check on the amount of reserves the community keeps set aside.
- Special Assessments – There are times when special assessments are necessary. For example, let’s say that a storm damaged some common property – if there isn’t enough in reserves to make the repairs, a special assessment will be needed.
- The Reputation of the Maintenance/Management Company. Do some research to review the reputation of the companies responsible for maintaining the common areas and amenities.
Make sure you have all the information you need about a specific community in order to make an informed decision.
4. Work with a REALTOR® Who is Experienced with Buying and Selling Townhomes or Condos
An experienced agent will be able to help you gather the information you need and avoid any potential pitfalls.
The members of Teri’s Real Estate Team are experienced professionals who know the local single-family, townhome and condo markets extremely well. If you’re planning a move, call us at 954-242-8030 or send an email for friendly and skillful representation.
Look at Townhomes and Condos for Sale in the Davie Area: