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Home Buying 101

Searching for a Home

Finding the Best Home for You

When it comes to buying a home, there are several options available to suit any type of lifestyle. Before you buy, carefully consider which community and home best fit yours. You may find that there is an optimal choice for you when you learn what to expect from each combination of home selection. Below are a few of the more common types of community and home choices.

Types of Communities

Choosing the type of community where you wish to live is almost as important as the home itself. You may find certain privileges that appeal to you or restrictions that don’t. Most of the following communities have become popular with homebuyers when searching for a new home.

Planned Unit Development (PUD)—PUDs are a common choice for families interested in security, a sense of community, and intentionally planned conveniences.

These communities typically provide local amenities funded by the homeowners themselves through dues paid to the homeowners association. This option will usually appeal to families who are willing and able to pay a little more for gates, local parks, shops, and restaurants. Residents are subject to certain neighborhood codes and association fees imposed by the community, but the sacrifice of some autonomy may be worth the benefits a PUD can offer.

Urban Villages—These self-contained communities best suit those who live in or near a city and wish for a more traditional neighborhood.

The advantage of living in an urban village is its proximity to the city and self-contained recreation. Many urban villages may include movie theaters, restaurants, and access to public transportation just within a few blocks of your home. These neighborhoods often appeal to urban families who are seeking a community but are unready for complete suburban life.

Active-Adult Community—This is a good fit for retired individuals or couples who are searching for a primary or second home with an intimate, resort-like lifestyle.

These communities are specifically targeted to retired adults, usually 55 or older, who are independent and active. Most active-adult communities offer condos, townhomes, or houses as options. Members of this community may expect to pay association fees for the amenities provided, but in turn enjoy all the benefits of an active community, including sponsored activities, pools, golf courses, etc.

Types of Homes

Condominium—A condominium is a popular choice for a single-person, couple, or small-family renter looking to buy.

Choosing a condominium can be a natural transition for the renter who is ready to invest but is uninterested in much of a lifestyle change from an apartment community. Condominiums tend to be most affordable for first-time buyers and offer many of the same amenities and security that apartment life provides. Ownership, however, does not reach much beyond your front door, and many condos impose restrictions on things like pets and noise.

Townhome—Townhomes are ideal for budget-conscious families or couples and who want a bit more freedom than a condominium can provide.

A townhome can provide simple living for the homeowner. Many townhome residents may enjoy more space than a condominium can offer, as well as a yard of their own. These yards tend to be small, but depending on the community, are often maintained by the exterior management. Because of proximity, neighborhoods are intimate and certain parking restrictions may apply.

Detached Single Family—As the most common form of home purchase, the single-family home best suits families looking to own a house and land.

While most single-family homes will be more expensive than condos or townhomes, they typically provide the highest resale value. Single-family homeowners can also enjoy more space and land than a townhome or condo. This means that all house and yard maintenance is up to the homeowner, but the space is one they can call their own.

The Home You Choose

Each home-buying decision will come with benefits and responsibilities for any homeowner. Carefully deciding which option naturally aligns with the demands of your existing lifestyle and preferences will provide a smoother and more rewarding transition for you and your family.