If you are in the market for a new home, you might be considering a townhouse or a condominium. It's important to remember that when you apply for your mortgage, your HOA fees will be included in your debt-to-income ratio. Here are some of the considerations you should keep in mind when determining what your HOA fees will include when looking at any particular property.
Condo or Townhouse?
While many people think that a condominium and a townhouse have different floor plans, the fact is that condos can come in the same two- or three-story style that you would associate with a townhouse. The real difference is that the owner of a condo is responsible only for the interior maintenance, while the owner of a townhouse is responsible for exterior maintenance, as well as the landscaping of the yard that belongs with the townhouse.
When it comes to paying HOA fees, understand that condo fees will include repairs to the roof of the building, landscaping and other exterior services. With a townhouse, most of the time, these extra services will not be included. Also keep in mind that your insurance premiums for a condo will likely be lower than those for a townhouse, because the insurance company will not need to pay for a roof or damage to your siding should a natural disaster occur.
What Are the Amenities?
Any community will have various amenities that are paid for by the HOA fees. The obvious ones are a gym and a swimming pool. Some will include elevators (which require maintenance), covered parking, security systems and playgrounds. Even if you do not personally use these types of amenities, you will be paying for them each month.
Keep in mind that if you have recreational facilities or safety services included in your HOA fees, you might be able to save money elsewhere. For example, a community pool means that you may save the money you would otherwise spend on taking your children to the city pool during the summer. An onsite gym may mean that you can cancel your gym membership. While the bank won't take this into consideration when deciding whether you can afford the mortgage plus the fees, it's something for you to remember as you look over your personal finances.
Deciding on what type of home to buy can be one of the most important decisions that you make. Talk to a qualified real estate agent who can help you understand the type of housing available in your area, show you what each type of property is worth now, and explain how your investment might pay off in the future.
For real estate help, contact a company such as Amit Kalia Broker-RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc.Share
3 February 2016
After my wife and I realized that we wanted to buy a house, we started saving like crazy. We skipped meals out with friends, wore older clothes for awhile, and put off family vacations. However, when we finally had enough money saved, we felt ready to buy the house of our dreams. However, finding that perfect paradise was a little more difficult than we anticipated. To help us to find the right place, we worked with a great real estate agent. This blog is about working with a broker to find a place you and your family will love forever.