Posted by: terryorealtor | January 8, 2008

Condos,Townhomes vs Single Family Homes…

Is a condo,townhome is the best choice for you? Depends. If you are a professional with little time to do outside work and maintenance or whose funds are limited for repairs etc a condo or townhome may be your best choice.

Single family homes will definitely retain their value longer and higher than condo’s and townhomes with a few exceptions in terms of location and closeness to easy commute access.

Most HOA’s and you must read HOA documents carefully will maintain the outside and common areas. That is one less expense for a person to consider in home ownership.

Most HOA’s and again not all, will have community pools and spas. Less liability for a person who wants easy access to such but not the responsibility. Look for a condo or townhome with garage when possible and/or secure parking. Is always a big resale factor.

Most HOA’s has hazard insurance for the building and the buyer or owner of unit just needs to dovetail with a renters type insurance to protect their personal belongings. Another huge savings.

In terms of HOA fees being excessive you need to look at the whole picture. Some HOA’s pay for trash and water, many  HOA’s do not.

Single family home you are entirely responsible for all utilities, liability, upkeep, repairs and replacements. Are you prepared financially for that?

In choosing a condo or townhome you need to observe the grounds and the buildings to assure there is proper maintenance and upkeep. You need to READ the HOA documents for the stability of the HOA. Check their reserve status. Look at the minutes to see if new assessments are coming up and for what. Check to see if any lawsuits are pending.

There are some really great condos and townhomes with great HOA’s out there to satisfy many buyers needs and wants. There are some HOA’s in trouble and you need to watch out for that. What has the resale value been in the area you are seeking? Do your homework, hire a great Realtor(R) and remember the rule of thumb to make money or break even is to live in a home or condo for at least 5 yrs. Obviously, that rule is subject to overall economic conditions. Historically the real estate market goes up and it goes down.

Any Questions: Contact me at 925 627 3006.

www.apr.com/tosburn

www.TerryOsburn.com

www.contracostashortsales.wordpress.com

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