Buying your first home is exciting. But which type of home should you choose? A condo, duplex or even a cohousing option? Here is a starter list of six types of homes to consider as you browse open house listings and scour your dream neighborhood for the perfect place to call your own:
First-time homeowners often look for a bungalow. These cozy, single-family homes are perfect for an individual or couple. With less square footage comes a smaller mortgage payment and lower utility bills, which is ideal for young couples or retirees with a limited income. Most bungalows feature small or maintenance-free yards and limited on-street parking, a one-stall garage or carport.
If you want to invest in a home that comes with minimal maintenance, you may choose to consider a condominium community. Owning a condo may mean that you don’t have to take care of the lawn, shovel snow in the winter, repair the roof or paint the outside of the condo because the homeowners’ association overseeing the condo community takes care of exterior maintenance. Condo owners often enjoy access to an attached or community garage, and they have the freedom to personalize the interior of their home with paint and decor.
Also known as a townhouse, a townhome is very similar to a condo. In some cases, townhome owners are responsible for lawn and yard maintenance, in addition to repairs to the driveway or the exterior of the dwelling itself. Townhomes are often multi-level and share a common wall with one or more neighbors, much like a condo. Townhomes are smaller than single-family homes, but offer similar amenities, such as basements, fenced yards and private driveways.
If you want to be highly integrated into your community, look into cohousing. These neighborhoods feature a cluster of freestanding single-family homes centered around a shared green space, such as a park, large yard or gardens. There’s often a central building to house lawn mowers and laundry machines for everyone to use. Walkways connect the homes, and community functions such as potlucks and kids’ playdates are common.
If you’re looking for a home that can also generate income, consider a duplex. These structures house two separate living units, each with its own entrance and living space, but they share a central wall. While living in half of the home, you could consider renting or selling the other half to generate income. Duplex dwellers often share parking space, patios and a yard.
6. Multifamily Home
A multidwelling unit (MDU) allows several families to all have personal space under one roof. Each home is separated by walls and hallways, but the families share a common parking area, yard space and sidewalks. Some multifamily homes are clustered together with additional amenities, such as a pool or community room, on the common grounds.
These are just a handful of the many types of homes to consider when you start the buying process. Make a list of your personal or family needs to narrow your options down, and then work toward finding the perfect place to live.
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