Different Types of Housing

Different Types of Housing

by Brian Bagnall

Are you familiar with the different types of housing that you can purchase? If you are on the market for a new home, it is important that you know the difference between a single family home, a townhouse, and a condominium. Familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of each so that you make a wise decision about your home purchase.

Single Family Homes
The single family house is the most common type of housing in the United States. This type of housing dwelling designed for a single family and has its own land. The house and the land are purchased and sold together. Unlike townhouses and condominiums, single family types of housing are not attached to other homes. Aside from regulations from your neighborhood or subdivision, you are free to do whatever you would like with your home.

With a single family home, you are responsible for the cost of maintaining and repairing the home, whether you do it yourself or pay someone else to do it. In addition, landscaping and lawn maintenance are also your responsibility. If you want to have a pool or playground in your backyard, you will have to provide such amenities.

The good thing about single family homes is that you have the freedom to make whatever changes you with. Improvements to your home can greatly increase the resale value, which is already higher than that of other types of housing.

A townhouse is the middle-ground type of housing between a single family home and a condominium. They share characteristics with both types of housing. In most cases, a townhouse is attached to at least one other house. When you own a townhouse you own the home as well as the property on which the home sits.

Since townhouses are a part of a larger community, you can usually find many of the amenities that you might find with an apartment. This includes swimming pools, fitness centers, tennis courts, etc.

While you are responsible for some of the maintenance and repairs, it will not be to the extent of that of a single family dwelling.

Townhouses are often part of a Home Owner’s Association, to which you are required to be a member.

A condominium, condo, for short, is a type of housing that is best described as an apartment that you are able to own. When you purchase a condo, you own everything inside your walls and share ownership of common areas with your neighbors.

Often condo ownership requires you to pay a monthly fee that covers repairs and maintenance to the common area. The condo association handles exterior maintenance and repairs, but in many cases, you contribute to the cost through dues or assessments.

Condo prices are often more affordable that those of single family homes and townhouses. There are often a number of amenities available for you to use. You have a minimal responsibility for exterior maintenance and repairs.

It can be hard to resell a condo. They are known to spend a longer time on the market than other types of housing.