When people think of buying a home, they often picture a single-family, detached house. But there are actually many different types of homes you can buy including apartments, condos, townhouses, and manufactured homes. If you aren’t sure which type of home is best for your situation, here’s a quick guide that covers the various home type options and their pros and cons.
What to keep in mind as you’re researching types of homes
There are dozens of architectural styles and types of homes to choose from, which can make it hard to narrow down your options. Here are some things to consider as you’re trying to decide which homes may work best for your family.
Every family has different needs when it comes to space. If you have children, pets, and lots of belongings, you may need a bigger home. Usually, single-family homes offer the most square footage, but you can also find roomy townhomes and condos with several bedrooms. If you think you can squeeze into a smaller space, condos, apartments, and even tiny homes may be a good option for you.
Perhaps the most important factor to consider is cost. If you’re on a tight budget, you may need to compromise on location or space. Smaller homes and condos that are farther out from the city tend to be less expensive.
Single-family homes can require a lot of upkeep and may have high maintenance costs. If you’re looking for a property that’s a little more hands-off, consider condos, apartments, and townhomes with small yards.
Suitability to lifestyle.
If you’re planning to stay in a home long-term, it’s important to choose one that fits your lifestyle. If you want to get a big dog, for example, a condo with limited outdoor space that places weight restrictions on pets may not be the best fit. Figure out what you value — whether that’s outdoor space, privacy, proximity to the city, or something else — and try to find a property that ticks those boxes.
Various types of homes
Still not sure which type of home will suit your family best? Here’s a closer look at some of your options.
Detached single-family houses are one of the most common types of homes to buy. They offer the most privacy because they don’t share any walls with neighbors and have their own parcel of land. Some single-family homes have one floor, while others have several. Ranch-style homes, for example, have a single story that contains all of the bedrooms and living spaces. If you’re looking for more room to spread out, a two-story home may be a better fit.
Condos are units within large buildings that have shared walls, so they provide less privacy than single-family homes. They usually have less square footage than detached homes and a lower purchase price. They also require less maintenance because they don’t have large outdoor spaces.
Although condos are generally less expensive than single-family homes, they do often come with homeowner’s association fees, which can cost a couple hundred dollars per month. So when you’re figuring out your budget for your condo, make sure you factor in the cost of all fees.
Just like condos, apartments are single-level units that have shared walls with neighbors. They’re usually located in large buildings with dozens of units. Although most people rent their apartments, you may be able to purchase one at a price that is considerably lower than a single-family house.
Townhouses are attached, single-family homes that share one or two walls with another unit. They’re less private than detached homes but are usually less expensive. Townhomes are also built on smaller lots than traditional single-family homes, so they require less exterior maintenance. Some townhouses are even part of developments that take care of landscaping for you and offer amenities like community pools and gyms. These communities often have homeowner’s association fees, so make sure to budget for them.
Debating between a condo and townhome? Check out this blog post for a more in-depth comparison of the two potential home types.
Manufactured homes are built in factories using modular techniques. Unlike stick-built homes that take months to build, manufactured homes can be assembled in just a few days. Because the building process is so efficient, they usually cost less than traditional single-family homes. So if you’re on a tight budget, they may be a good option. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that it may be hard to secure financing for older manufactured homes built before 1976. Learn more about the financing guidelines for this home type.
Multi-family homes are buildings that have up to four separate units with their own entrances and addresses. They’re ideal for homeowners who want to earn rental income from their property or live with family members while retaining some privacy. If you plan to live in one of the units, you may qualify for a government-backed mortgage like an FHA or VA loan. But if you aren’t going to be an owner-occupant, you’ll have to take out a conventional loan.
Tiny homes are small dwellings that have less than 400 square feet. You can get a tiny home for as little as $20,000, which makes it an affordable housing option. But you probably won’t be able to get a mortgage for it, so you may have to pay cash or take out a personal loan. It can also be a challenge to find a place to build your tiny home as many counties don’t allow them.
No matter which type of home you choose, you may need a mortgage. As always, we’re here to answer any questions you have and help guide you through the process! Give us a call or start your online application today.