If you're in the position to transition into your first privately-owned property, then you're transitioning from one of a few housing scenarios. You're leaving your parent's home, you're leaving shared housing after graduating college, or you're leaving an apartment rental community. All of these will inform what you're looking for when you're ready to purchase your first home.
Most real estate consumers think of single-family home listings when they envision the type of home they'd like to purchase, but did you know that there are other housing styles that you could purchase? Here's a look at a few choices that first-time home buyers like you have at their disposal.
Condos for sale
Condos are a great way to baby-step your way into private homeownership. This is because their build and structure are exactly like an apartment. Think about how an apartment unit looks, inside and out. The difference with a condo is this: instead of signing a lease to rent out the unit for a defined period of time, you'll sign mortgage papers and buy the unit. This might be something to consider if you're not ready for the upkeep that comes with single-family home listings, such as landscaping, garbage, sewage, etc.
On the other hand, you'll have a lot less freedom than you might be craving with private homeownership. You won't have land to do any gardening, for example. You'll have to pay fees to your property's condo board. And your condo board will have rules that you'll have to abide by. For example, you won't be able to make any structural changes, you won't be able to make major cosmetic changes, and you'll have to abide by community rules.
Townhomes for sale
Townhomes are the next step up if you want a bit more freedom but you're still not quite sure about single-family home listings. A townhome can be described as a narrow two-story (sometimes three-story) house. It's usually attached to other townhomes. In many cases, the home is situated on a small plot of land, and you'll have ownership of the land. You can do quite a bit more as far as design than you could with a condo. And you'll have ownership of the land, so you can plan outdoor design and living projects. But you still might be accountable to an HOA. Also, you'll have to deal with neighbors on either side of your house.
Single-family homes for sale
Finally, there are traditional single-family homes that most think of when they think of buying a house. These offer a wide variety of land options, and you won't have to worry about your house being attached to another. You'll have plenty of design options and personal privacy, too. This is an option you should consider if you're expanding your family, you crave large amounts of privacy, or you want the freedom to design the home of your dreams.
Talk to a real estate agent to look at single-family home listings.