Know What You’re Buying
You will need to know what the legal types of houses are in order to make an informed decision. The main types you’ll encounter are:
Condominium. This is the “least” form of ownership. You own the interior of your unit plus one share of all the complex (driveways, pool, roofs, siding, etc.) You pay monthly dues to your Home Owners Association (HOA) which pays for common area maintenance, utilities, handling complaints, planning for future expenses, etc. The HOA has rules that everyone has to live by called Bylaws or Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) that can limit pets, number of vehicles, even what you can have on your patio.
With condos, you don’t own the structure of the house, so you cannot make changes except inside your unit.
Townhouse/Attached Home. A townhouse, or attached home as they are often called, is halfway between a condo and a single family detached home. With this type of house ownership, you do own the structure around you including the roof and the ground under you. You typically have homeowners dues and a Homeowners Association.
Townhouses vary greatly in what the HOA takes care of regarding maintenance, repairs, and utilities so read carefully!
Detached Home. This is the American Dream- to own a single family house with a white picket fence around it! Detached homes may still be part of a Home Owners Association, but the HOA does not maintain the home, only enforces any rules of the neighborhood. Rules for the HOA can be difficult to change so find out what is required to change the rules. See What’s a Homeowner’s Association for details.
You might want to decide what types of houses you’re willing to buy before you ever look at homes. You don’t want to fall in love with a cute home that is the wrong form of ownership for you.
Our Checklist “Compare Positives & Negatives” has lists of things to consider about each form of ownership.
Thinking of buying a home in the Portland, Oregon area? Checkout our First Time Home Buying Classes!Is it a Condo, Attached, or Detached Home? ,
Choose a state from the drop-down menu for specific state information related to this lesson.
Your email address and personal information are confidential and will not be sold or rented by Fearless Homebuyer.