There are many reasons why some prospective Real Estate purchasers are struggling with buying a Single Family home. For some, it is simply the price tag. For others, they lack the sizable down payment and closing costs a Single Family house would require. Still others would like to own a piece of Real Estate but not the upkeep that comes with it.
If you are like me, maybe you would like to throw away the snow shovel and for sure the lawnmower and garden tools. Depending on how you feel about the above statements, maybe, just maybe, instead of purchasing a Single Family home you should consider a Condo or Townhouse. I for one, have always enjoyed top floor, end unit, Condo living. While I know Townhouse and Condo living isn't for everyone, you might be pleasantly surprised at how pleasurable it is to live in a well maintained association that provides many of the above services, and more. In fact, Northern Virginia provides many associations to choose from.
There is something to remember when considering this kind of purchase. The amount of research you do in preparation for your purchase should be no less than if you were buying a Single Family house.
Here is my proposed list of required research.
You should know the type of construction. Whether you are buying a new or previously owned Condo/Townhouse, search for units that are well-built and well-maintained. Does the builder or contractor have a solid, respected reputation? Believe it or not, I've lived in some Condo's that you cannot hear the neighbors and in others, well noise is a huge issue. So study and ask questions about the construction of the building.
Location, location and location is as essential for this kind of house as it is for a Single Family home. For example: Ask your Realtor®, "What helps a Townhouse or Condominium to perform well in re-sale"? "How has this area appreciated throughout the years?" Remember, a moment ago I indicated that I enjoy living in Condos, top floor, end unit? There is a reason I said that and it is called Value! Make sure you speak with your Realtor® about what promotes value in these units.
Study the homeowner's association documents. Talk with your attorney about them. Know about fees. Check up on the board and know how well they perform together at their meetings. Do have a harmonious relationship when it comes to working together, or are they always fighting? How often have fees been raised down through the years? Has the association maintained a good supply of reserves for future upkeep and repairs? What about rules? Rules enforced today will in all probability remain in force when you move in, so don't think they will change just because of your presence in the community. Also, don't forget to inquire about the Master Policy (Insurance) on the buildings. You will have to purchase insurance that compliments this policy; otherwise you might be throwing money away.
See if you can find a copy of the Associations Newsletter. Read it and learn about what could be your future home. Ask for a copy of the previous Board Meeting minutes. Meet the President of the association and ask questions! Ask potential neighbors about how quiet the units are. How many parking stalls do you receive or is their covered parking?
Finally, don't forget a Home Inspection. Yes and by all means, a condo or townhouse should be looked at under the same microscope, just as much as a Single Family home.
Are you ready to get started? If you are and you live in Northern Virginia, here is The Door To Your Next Home Search.
David L. Burrows, Realtor®
Envirian of Warrenton
Warrenton, Virginia 20186
Phone: 703.391.9200 x9119
A Burrows' Thought worth considering: Buying a house involves commitment to the task before you. Commitment always means inconvenience. Be ready to pay the price and see the task of purchasing through to completion.
Interested in Some Great Reading on selling your home? Take a look at these articles on my website: Selling Your Home: Where do you begin?
Seller Guidance: I would encourage you to employ a Realtor®® to help you sell your home. When your agent or another agent is showing your house, go away and let them do your work for you. I also urge you to utilize my FREE SELLERS TOOLKIT before selling your house.
Buyer Guidance: I would encourage you to really check out anything and everything you are told by a well meaning seller. Employ the services of a Buyer's Agent to help you discern what you read and listen to about the area you are thinking of calling home. I would also urge you to get my FREE BUYERS TOOLKIT before heading out on the journey to find your new house.
Try this powerful link to help you find your next home: Fairfax Homes For Sale
The search engine on my site will allow you to find a house by Mapping, County, Subdivision, Zip Code, Address or City. I encourage you to try the Fairfax MLS and in fact, search the entire Northern VA Real Estate area.
Northern Virginia Information - Here you will find answers to your questions about schools, auto registration, taxes, things to do this weekend, popular destinations. It only takes a moment to look and it is free with no registration required!
Click on the following link for your Complimentary eCalendar & Daily Planner. This is a Free Gift from David. There is absolutely NO sign-up, registration, tricks, or gimmicks. It really is free for you to enjoy! This is a great tool for keeping track of your schedule for all of your Real Estate needs. There is NO obligation.
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