Buying a townhouse requires a few steps you might not know, and living in one does differ from living in a traditional house. So, you’re searching for a new townhouse. Congrats! Buying a townhouse can be exciting, whether you’re upsizing, downsizing, or just ready for a change of scenery. But like any significant purchase, it isn’t one you want to jump into without doing your research first.
Why Buying A Townhouse Can Suit Your Lifestyle Perfectly
Townhouses can offer a wide range of benefits. For example, typically, an HOA takes care of many maintenance tasks, making owning a home much more manageable. When buying a townhouse, it’s good to know they come in many shapes, sizes, and locations. Typically, you’ll find them nested in developments or developed in rows as dual or quad units
For example, you’ll find them attached, semi-attached as single-family homes typically having varying front and backyard areas. But then, factors like cost, convenience, availability, and location come into play. After living in a townhouse for over 19 years, understanding some fundamental facts first makes sense before you jump in. Of course, you’ll want to decorate your townhome, and you need to consider that as well.
So before you jump to a decision, it’s essential to know some important facts before buying a townhouse. Either way, a townhouse can offer many features for those who want to simplify their lives and own their own homes.
Below, you’ll find some helpful advice to keep in mind as you start shopping for a townhome.
1) Know Your Budget And Financing Options
Townhome buyers can save themselves a lot of time and frustration by knowing their budget upfront. Then, when you’re clear on how much you can afford to spend, you can narrow your search to townhomes that fit that price range and avoid falling in love with a property you can’t afford.
Don’t forget. You’ll need to include HOA (homeowners association )fees as well. Typically, they can range from under $100 a month to well over $500 monthly, depending on location and offerings. Also, don’t forget to look into the best financing rates available. While you can always refinance, surfing around for affordable rates is best.
2) Preparing A Mortgage Pre-Approval
The only thing better than knowing your budget has a mortgage pre-approval in hand when buying a townhouse. This document from a lender states the maximum amount they’re willing to lend you based on factors like your credit score, employment history, and income.
With pre-approval, you can research homes within your budget with confidence, knowing that you’ll be able to get financing for the amount you’re looking to spend. Typically, the best time to set up your pre-approval is somewhere between a year and a half to one year in advance.
However, you don’t want to have one too early, so check with your financial advisor as to the best timeframes. Statistics show nearly one-third of mortgage applications contain an error, so always work closely with them.
3) Consider Community Amenities
Generally, townhome and condominium communities offer more amenities than traditional neighborhoods. So when you’re considering which townhome is suitable for you, take the community amenities into account. After all, when buying a townhouse, you’ll want to enjoy all the perks.
Ask yourself, do you want to be able to walk to restaurants and shops? Is a fitness center or swimming pool important to you? More importantly, do you need access to public transportation? Also, check if the community’s school system is a priority. Finally, consider which amenities are must-haves for you and use them to help narrow your search.
4) Choose The Right Location
The location of your townhome is just as crucial as the townhome itself. If you’re looking for a quiet community where you can raise a family, you’ll want to steer clear of townhomes in the city’s heart.
On the other hand, if you’re single and looking for a more vibrant community with nightlife and entertainment options, you’ll want to find a townhome in a location that offers that. So ask yourself, do you want a smaller community or one with hundreds of townhomes? Either way, knowing where you would feel more comfortable is always a good idea.
When you know what you’re looking for in a location, you can narrow your search to townhomes that fit that description.
5) Understand The Maintenance Responsibilities When Buying A Townhouse
One of the benefits of owning a townhome is that you’re not solely responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property and common areas. But it’s essential to understand your responsibilities as a townhome owner before you make your purchase.
For instance, while you can paint interior walls any color you’d like, removing them for a renovation could require the approval of the homeowner’s association. Moreover, buying a townhouse does come with responsibilities, and it’s essential to know before you consider owning one.
A townhome might not be the best option if you don’t like the layout or want to complete regular renovations. On the other hand, a townhome can work out great if you’re looking for a low-maintenance property where you can lock the door and head out on vacation without worry.
6) Ask About Community Fees
Townhome and condominium communities often have monthly or annual fees associated with them. Depending on the community, these fees cover landscaping, snow removal, building repairs, and amenities like pools or fitness centers.
Furthermore, when considering a townhome, ask about any Community or Homeowners Association Fees (CAF) that may be applicable. These fees can add up, so you’ll want to factor them into your overall budget for the property and prepare to avoid any surprises down the road.
7) Ask About Community Rules Before Buying A Townhouse
In addition to community fees, townhome owners must follow the rules and regulations of the Community or Homeowners Association. Depending on the community, these rules and regulations could cover everything. For example, what color you can paint your door, and the number of pets you have? Or even whether overnight parking from guests in shared parking areas they allowed.
Before making an offer on a townhome, review the community’s rules and regulations to ensure they are acceptable for your lifestyle. These bylaws are usually available from the association or your real estate agent. Remember, every community has different rules and regulations. That’s why it’s essential to dive deep into their HOA rules.
8) Scheduling A Home Inspection
Like any other property you’re considering purchasing, it’s essential to inspect a townhome before you finalize the sale. This inspection helps to identify any issues that could be problematic in the future.
A professional home inspector will look for any problems with the home, from the roof and gutters to the foundation and electrical system. You can use any issues discovered as leverage to negotiate a lower purchase price or have the seller make repairs before closing the property.
For additional information, you can contact Henderson Properties, a real estate agency headquartered in Charlotte, NC, which has been serving homeowners and rental property owners for over 35 years.
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