There are some who would prefer to purchase a single family home and some who would prefer a condo or townhouse and the luxury of a low maintenance or no yard . No matter which kind of property you purchase you have responsibilities as a homeowner.
The biggest difference in owning a single family dwelling or a condo is that the single family home is TOTALLY your responsibility for fixing any part of the home that is in disrepair or needs attention. (i.e. leaky roof, wood rot, termite damage) and in a condo/townhouse unit many of these costs are included in your maintenance fees.....except the inside of your unit. Here are other differences:
- Homeowners insurance: Your single family dwelling needs full coverage for all parts of the home and your maintenance fees for the condo/townhouse may take care of the roof, outside of the dwelling, parking lot and the bulk of the homeowners insurance. You will however need to purchase condo insurance for the INSIDE of the unit and it just a bit more than the cost of renter's insurance.
- Water and Sewer: There are some condo/townhouse complexes that include the water/sewer and in some cases even the electric utilities in the maintenance fees. In a single family dwelling it's ALL YOUR OWN COSTS. Take into consideration your usage for a family your size.
- PRIVACY: Your single family dwelling will likely have more privacy than a condo/townhouse because there are no attached walls. Even if your home is just a few feet away from the neighbor you still have that privacy of not hearing the neighbors through the walls. There could be the difference of barking dogs and noisy neighbors as well.
- PETS, Satellite Dishes and Alterations: Condo /Townhouse Associations have strict rules and guidelines and it is best that you check out the House (Association) Rules before you commit. Some may only allow one dog (25 lbs and under) and others may not allow any dog at all. They may or may not allow satellite dishes and may not allow to extend that living room.
- Painting: Your single family home may be in an Association as well so check before painting your home. Mililani Town Association has strict rules and the colors that you're allowed to use for painting the outside of your home. Townhouses/Condos paint the complex and part of your maintenance fees.
Needless to say, there are many factors to consider in owning your own piece of paradise. You as a homeowner are responsible to upkeep your own home and take responsibility so you can enjoy your abode. You also need to be aware of how you affect your neighbors with your barking dog, loud music and so forth.
These are also factors to consider before purchasing the home you'll be residing in for years to come.
Drive around the neighborhood during peak times when everyone is home.
You may just discover that it is the right home....and neighborhood for you.
Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman is a Realtor-Associate with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocating to Hawaii, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents. Website: www.hawaiihomesmarket.com