If your resolution is to get into a new home this year, it's important to find the right one. Today we're wrapping up our new year, new home blog series with tips on how to choose the right location and the right type of home for you.
Location, Location, Location
Whether you currently rent or own your home, you understand the importance of location. It's a key factor in determining how much you can afford, how long your commute will be, and if you'll be near good schools.
Points to consider when determining your location:
- Urban or suburban: Do you want the convenience and walkability of a more urban environment? Or do you want a larger home with a yard, away from the hustle and bustle?
- School systems: Even if you don't have school–age children, it's important to consider the local school system for resale value.
- Proximity to your job, current and future: Are you willing to make a 45–minute drive to work or do you want a short commute — 15 minutes or less?
- Access to public transportation: Do you need access to public transportation to get to and from work, school, or your primary health care provider?
- Size: If you require four bedrooms and a fenced–in yard for your dog, you may need to consider homes further from a city–center.
Understanding Different Home Types
Your budget and lifestyle are an important part of deciding what type of home is right for you. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of different home types and decide which is best for your situation.
- Detached single–family: Typically, these are the largest of the property types — providing you with the most privacy and space. The downside? They can be expensive and, even if you're renting, you may be responsible for some of the home maintenance and the yardwork.
- Apartments and condominiums: Apartments and condominiums can provide you with a maintenance–free, "on–the–go" lifestyle. Those located in urban settings often offer walkable access to shops, restaurants, and public transportation. They also can offer varying degrees of amenities, from parking to playgrounds. Condos tend to offer more amenities — like pools and concierge services — and that usually comes with a cost called homeowners association (HOA) fees. If you're renting a condo, be sure to find out whether you will be responsible for that monthly fee or it is already included in your rent.
- Townhomes: Townhomes can offer many of the benefits of condominium and single–family living at a more affordable price. They typically offer two levels with good living space and frequently include amenities such as parks and playgrounds. They tend not to have as much yard space as a single–family home and, therefore, require less outside maintenance, but that also could mean less privacy.
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