Everyone dreams of being a homeowner one day – to have your own residence that is perfectly tailored to your lifestyle, upgraded and renovated to your unique design style and preferences and a place that just feels like home. This is the American dream! The path to homeownership is not clear cut and looks very different for everyone. Some people may choose to rent an apartment or a home for a long period of time until they save up the necessary funds for a down payment. Some people may purchase a home, renovate it and then sell it to make a profit – and then do the same time and time again as an extra source of income. No matter what it takes to get there, once you do own your own property – whether it’s a single-family residence, a condo, a town house or a plot of land where you will build your dream home – homeownership is worth the experience of getting there.
If you are a first-time home buyer, you may be overwhelmed by the wide range of real estate options available to you. A market that allows you to have different housing options to choose from may leave you feeling confused as to which type of residence is the right choice. Each type of property – a single family residence, condominium and a townhome all have their own pros and cons. Buyers need to take various things into consideration before their make a decision – their budget, current and desired lifestyle, etc. As you would with any other major purchase, it’s important to do extensive research and thoroughly understand the options that are available to you. When choosing the type of residence you would like to rent or buy it’s important to understand the differences between each option so you can make an informed choice that works best for you, your family and your lifestyle. We break down the different housing options available to you in Brazos County, TX – read on and contact us if you have questions or would like to chat more about the local real estate.
College Station Condos
A condominium – or a condo, for short – is a unit that is located within a bigger structure, which could be a single-story development or a high-rise building. Condos can be similar to apartments, but the big difference is that you can buy a condominium, whereas apartments are just for rent. Of the three different types of housing options, condos require the least amount of maintenance. As a homeowner you will only be responsible to fix and take care of anything that is within the walls. Problems like peeling paint on the outside of the unit, a leaky roof or landscaping issues are the responsibility of the property manager or condo association to fix. Condominiums usually have a set homeowner’s association (HOA) fee that every owner is responsible for. This fee contributes to the upkeep and maintenance of the entire property. A condominium is a wonderful option for anyone who is looking to own a property with the least amount of maintenance. This type of property would be the best fit for single individuals, business-oriented tenants who travel a lot or older couples who don’t need a lot of space and don’t want to be bothered with work around the house.
While condos allow you the freedom of not worrying about repairs and maintenance, being part of a homeowners or condo association does mean that you have to abide by other rules, which can be restrictive at times. You won’t be able to customize your unit any way that you please. Additionally, when you live in a condo complex you will be sharing walls with your neighbors as well as other amenities like a community center, pool, fitness center, elevators, etc.
College Station Townhomes
A townhome is a narrow, multilevel residence that shares a wall with neighboring townhomes. The biggest difference between a condo and a townhome is that when you own a townhome you also own the land that the property is built on – this means that you may have a small front or back yard to enjoy at your leisure. A townhome could be the ideal first property for a first-time home buyer because it is a perfect compromise between a condo and a single-family residence. Similar to a condominium, a townhome doesn’t require as much maintenance as a house would, but similar to a home you will have more space, multi-levels and outdoor space for entertaining. College Station townhomes usually belong to an HOA as well, but you might have more autonomy when it comes to certain home improvements than you would in a condo complex. When you live in a townhome you have to get permission from the HOA if you want to do any kind of home upgrade or renovation like painting the exterior, changing up windows or doors and more. Condos and townhomes tend to be very similar and many people have a hard time understanding the difference, so here’s an easy breakdown to read through:
- Maintenance: Condos usually require the least amount of maintenance of all housing options. If you own a townhome then you will be responsible for the outdoor living space, yard area, the roof and the home’s exterior.
- Cost: Townhomes are usually bigger than condos, which means that they may be more expensive to purchase. However, condo developments generally have higher monthly HOA dues since the association takes on the majority of the maintenance and upkeep. Townhomes typically have lower HOA fees, but if you move into a development that is older you may have to pay higher dues to ensure the common areas like the community pool or barbecue areas are updated and don’t look dirty and dated.
- Amenities: Both condo and townhome developments offer similar amenities to residents, these may include a pool, fitness center, a dog run, security services and more. Some of the newer, more expensive developments may also offer dry cleaning services, dog walking, car washes and other luxurious amenities that are popular in big cities.
- Location: There’s nothing more important than location when looking to buy a home, no matter what type of property you are looking into. Condos tend to be more centrally located in city centers and in high-rise buildings. Townhome neighborhoods need more land and space so they can be found in communities where you will also find plenty of single-family homes. Depending on your lifestyle, commute, work and personal preferences you will need to decide what’s more important to you when picking the right location and neighborhood.
- HOA rules: In general, condominium HOAs tend to be more specific, or restrictive, for residents. This means that there are specific days and time of day that you can take out the trash, you may be limited on outdoor décor and what sits in front of your front door or patio area. Townhome communities also have rules that need to be followed, but you may have more freedom on what you can do with the exterior of the property. Before you buy a condo or townhome take the time to read through the HOA rules to make sure you’ll be able to stick to them.
College Station Homes
When people talk about becoming homeowners, most are dreaming of a single-family residence, with a luscious grassy yard and a white picket fence. A single-family home can be a one-story or multiple story residence that has a basement, attic or both. It could sit on a small plot of land or your property could sprawl across acres of land for you to do with as you please – the sky is the limit when it comes to a single-family home. When you own a home, you have the freedom to do with it as you please – you can tear down the structure and rebuild, renovate and design it as you wish and enjoy your property to your full extent. That being said, homes require the most maintenance out of any residential option, if anything gets damaged, needs to be fixed or replaced, it is 100% your responsibility.
There are various pros and cons to be a homeowner, and there are ups and downs to owning each specific type of residence. To ensure that you are making the right choice you have to consider your options, do your research, calculate your budget and go over your own list of wants and needs before you make a purchase. Working with a qualified and experienced real estate agent can help you learn more, get answers to your questions and professional assistance throughout the entire experience and purchase transaction if you find the perfect property. Take some time to explore our website for information on the incredible communities and neighborhoods in Brazos County, reviews on local restaurants, information about attractions and entertainment as well as a customized search option where you can look for your dream home. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you find the perfect home and assisting you through a seamless and successful transaction!