23rd Thursday Feb 2012

Home Buying 101: #2 What Kind of Home to Buy?

Written by: Vanessa
Comments: 1
Category: Real Estate Bits

Nothing obliterates fear like information–-lots of it. In this post, I’ll discuss the pros & cons between condos, units and single family homes to help you determine which is best for you. Knowledge is power and I want my buyers to be the most knowledgeable buyers out there. If you have any questions not covered here, or a general question about real estate, contact Vanessa.

Should I consider a condo, multi-unit or single family home?

Again, this is only something you can determine. Things to consider:

WeHo condo complex

  • Condos Pros: Condos are usually cheaper and the price can sometimes afford you access to your 1st choice location. They’re relatively low maintenance with no yard and generally, no exterior upkeep costs–unless you have a badly managed HOA and they decide to increase your HOA dues to say, cover a new roof.
  • Condo Cons: Mandatory Homeowner’s Association (HOA) dues typically between $200-400 per month, HOA regulations might impose strict rules that you have to abide by; these rules can mandate anything from whether or not you can have pets to how you decorate your private balcony. It’s very important to review the HOA’s CC & Rs to determine whether a condo complex is right for you.

Silver Lake 4-plex

  • Multi-units Pros: Having a rental unit may afford you access to your 1st choice location, since you have a renter or multiple renters, your share of the mortgage may be significantly less than what you might pay in rent or for a single home. Since it’s your property, you can generally do whatever you like to the exterior and interior.
  • Multi-unit Cons: You may need up to 25% down to obtain a loan and since you’ll be a landlord, you’ll have to deal with tenant issues like renting, repairs, etc.

Hancock Park single family home

  • Single Family Home Pros: You’ll have your own private home. Generally, you’ll be able to do whatever you want to the interior and exterior of your home within the rules of the city you buy in.
  • Single Family Home Cons: You’ll most likely have to pay for a gardener and exterior upkeep like a fresh coat of paint every few years, roof repairs, roof replacement, foundation, plumbing and electrical maintenance.
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  1. Bill Clifford said:

    February 24, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Nice post! I just wanted to make one comment about buying a multi-unit property. In most cases a borrower will not have to put 25% down to buy one of these properties as long as it is less than 4 units. The buyer may have to prove that they have enough income to qualify for the full payment (not taking rents received into account).

    Also, when purchasing a condo check with your lender to make sure that the building is approved for the type of financing you are going to use (Conventional, FHA, etc). Some condos may not be approved by the FHA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac making it very difficult to secure financing.

    Bill Clifford
    Open Mortgage

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