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house hunting

House hunting? Explore different property types!

The most exciting part of buying a home is likely the experience of house hunting. This is where you get to explore your options and visualize your future as a home owner. Most home buyers look forward to this part the most. However, which property type should you be looking at? Is one better than the others? Here’s a review of different property types, and how you can decide which one may suit you best.

Detached houses

A detached house is likely most people’s default vision when they think about buying a home. They are the most standard and well-known property type, and probably the easiest to understand. These properties are houses that stand on their own as one building for one buyer. They do not share walls with other homes, nor are they part of a larger housing complex. Detached houses are often found in neighbourhoods outside of city cores, or in rural settings where they are completely surrounded by land. 

The responsibilities of owning a detached house reflect the standalone structure of the property in that as the owner, you are in charge of every part of maintaining the property. If something breaks or needs repairs, it’s completely on you to arrange the necessary fixes. If you have a yard, you are responsible for taking care of it. Basically, any kind of change, repair, maintenance, or payments are the job of the home owner.

Duplexes, triplexes, and townhouses

Now we move onto homes that are generally one step down from a detached house in terms of size and price. Duplexes, triplexes, and townhomes are all very similar. The only difference is the number of shared walls! A duplex is attached to one other home, a triplex is connected to two others, and a townhome is part of a row of homes grouped together. As the owner of one of these properties, you still have your own separate entrance and living space, but your neighbours are much closer. 

These properties generally have smaller yards, and are sometimes part of a larger building association. This means owning this type of home comes with additional fees for the association to cover things such as snow removal or ground maintenance. Alternatively, if you own a freehold property, this means it is not part of an association. Depending on whether you’re open to paying extra fees for these types of services, being part of a building association might seem like a benefit or a drawback for you.

Condos and apartments

Finally, we arrive at condos and apartments. These properties are individual units within a larger building of other units. These properties are often the smallest, and ownership is limited to the unit itself. This means you don’t own any yard, and condo associations own the grounds and common areas of the building. You can do what you like with your individual unit, but you have limited power over how any other part of the building looks. Similar to some duplexes, triplexes, and townhomes, condos are part of a condo association. This means condo owners pay for the association to handle maintenance of common areas and make any building improvements. 

Which one is right for you?

Choosing the right property type when house hunting can be a big decision. A big part of it comes down to space, price, and location. In most cases, detached houses are the largest property type, and the most expensive, followed by townhomes, then condos. By that logic, maintenance responsibilities usually follow the same order. However, you will find these property types in different areas. As we mentioned earlier, detached houses are often situated outside of the core of a city. Townhomes and condos are generally closer to the busy parts of a city, where more people live and the demand for housing is greater. If you need to be located in a downtown area with access to transit and amenities, a detached house might not be an ideal first choice. Similarly, townhomes and condos might not be the best if you crave a quiet lifestyle in a rural area.

House hunting certainly involves making a lot of choices, and this is one of the bigger decisions. If you’re unsure which property type meets your needs the best, your real estate agent will be able to help you focus on your priorities. Plus, you can always reach out to a mortgage broker! We can examine your finances and mortgage needs to help you make the right decision. 

If you have any questions about your mortgage, get in touch with us at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team! You can call us at (902) 482-2770 or contact us here.