Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger - RE/MAX Executive Realty

Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 6/28/2017

When it comes to finding a place for you and your family to live, there have never been more options available than today. Banks and property owners have made living arrangements available and accessible to people of any lifestyle; whether you plan on staying in a home for just six months, or for the rest of your life.

It isnít always easy, though, to determine which option is best for you. In this article, weíll break down the financial and lifestyle characteristics of the four most common living situations: condominiums, townhouses, apartments, or owning your own home.

Condo living

Condominiums are a type of community living. But, theyíre more than just an apartment that you own. Most condos are attached; meaning theyíre not separated by yards and driveways. Some, however, are detached. One thing that is true for all condos, however, are the common areas throughout the development. This can include things like a park, yards, gyms, pools, or lounges and cafes. The best part about those amenities? You donít have to worry about their upkeep.

So, since you own the condo, who pays for the common areas? Odds are, youíll be paying a monthly fee or a homeowners association fee to upkeep the amenities your condo came with. Expect higher fees for better amenities and prime real estate location.

What about maintenance? Since you own the condo, youíre responsible for much of the interior maintenance, such as appliances. However, outdoor issues like roofing or siding are usually the responsibility of the homeowners association or property manager.

Condos are ideal for people who are somewhat committed to an area, and who want independence over their home without having to take care of all the landscaping.


Townhouses are in many ways the opposite of condos. They are often rented but they look like single family homes, complete with a driveway and front yard. There are also typically homeowners association fees for townhouses, but they can be significantly less since there are fewer amenities in a townhouse living environment.

Depending on your long-term plans, you can either rent or buy townhouses. Renting is usually a better choice for inhabitants who donít plan on staying in the residence for more than a couple of years.


If what you truly seek in a home is independence and privacy then traditional homeownership might be the best option for you. If you own a home outright and donít have to answer to a homeowners association, you get to choose what you do with your yard. There are of course, some limits to this, like getting additions approved by zoning boards, or trampolines signed off by your insurance company.

Financially, homes can be a good asset. They typically increase in value and allow you to build equity. You might also find them more financially dependable; rents can increase year after year, but your monthly mortgage payments typically wonít unless you choose to refinance.

Ultimately, buying a home is going to benefit you more the longer you stay there. So, if you plan on moving for work in the next few years, you might be better off renting.

Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 6/7/2017

Whether you are in the hunt for a starter home, seeking temporary housing or looking for a place to create lifelong memories, a townhouse could be a smart option. One of the biggest takeaways associated with buying a townhouse is the amount of maintenance and care that the home requires.

Homeownership with less hassle

Townhouses generally donít require as much upkeep as a single home. Smaller front and backyards and homeowners associations reduce the work required to maintain a townhouse. Move into a townhouse that includes roofing and lawn care in its fees and you could save time and money over the long term.

Some townhouses are located in neighborhoods that have community swimming pools.These community facilities should also be maintained by the HOA. This gives you access to a swimming pool without your having to pay to install an in ground pool or without you having to shell out extra money on a single home that has a pool in the back yard.

Treasure trove of benefits

Location, size, affordability and more opportunities to socialize are other advantages living in a townhouse can bring. Townhouses are often located in urban areas that are within walking distance of stores and businesses. Because of their location, you wonít have a boring social life. In addition to being centrally located, itís not uncommon to find townhouses on public transportation routes.

Despite whatyou might think, a townhouse isnít much smaller than a single home. In fact,some townhouses are so large that you wonít ever feel as if youíre sharing awall with a neighbor. Just make sure that you research the neighborhood beforeyou buy a townhouse. Itís better to know that the neighbors are conscientiousbefore you move in than to later find out that you just moved next to a noisy rockband.

On the upside, if you and your neighbors get to know each other, you could easily develop a lifelong friendship. Your neighbors may also look out for your home when youíre out of town.

Because they are attached units, prices on townhouses can be lower than what you may find on single homes in your area. As with any other house, conduct a thorough inspection on each townhouse youíre thinking about buying. Work to build up your credit, if necessary, so that you can get the lowest fixed interest rates on your mortgage.

Townhouses are located throughout much of the United States. If you live on the East Coast, you may hear townhouses referred to as row houses, as East Coast townhouses can be joined for an entire block. In other regions of the country, townhouses only connect two homes. The townhouses in places like New York and Boston are elegant. They are large enough to easily accommodate a family of five.

To gain more privacy, consider installing a fence around your front and back yards. Your front porch should be large enough to hang potted flowers and plants on. You should also have enough front porch room to place a porch swing and a chair on. Another plus, is a side driveway.

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