When choosing between a townhouse or detached home, take your lifestyle, family size, where you work and your stage of life into consideration. Buy a home that fits your current and future needs. The type of home you decide on plays a significant role in your quality of life.
Townhouses are homes joined by a common wall, usually with access to the outside and a small yard area that may be share by the unit’s residents or by the entire townhome community. The homeowner may own the land on which a townhouse sits, but more than likely must share ownership of that land as part of a condominium or homeowner’s association. Detached houses are homes built on their own lots. Traditionally, a detached home offers more privacy than a townhouse and may have fewer restrictions, depending on its location. The home owner may also own the land the home sits on independent of others in the development.
Detached townhomes may have higher price tags than townhouses because they are not connected to another home. Townhouses can be located in communities that may or may not offer amenities, generally these homes have a more affordable price tag. Townhouse owners may have less control over property usage. This also may be true of detached homes located in homeowners’ associations.
It goes without saying that a smaller yard requires less maintenance. If a townhouse is part of a condominium or homeowner’s association, the association provides maintenance services – so you can give up your lawn mower and shovels! However, townhouse owners pay a fee for maintenance that must be factored into monthly housing costs. Townhouse owners also may not have the flexibility to make major improvements that alter the home’s exterior. Detached homes, as a rule, require more time and money to maintain. With detached homes, owners have more flexibility make major improvements that can increase property values.
Because of the space required to build them, detached houses are usually located away from downtown areas. Townhouses, on the other hand, have the advantage of fitting onto smaller plots or vacant pieces of land, making such housing options more accessible to busy commercial areas. If your lifestyle or job centers around such areas, a townhouse may work for you. On the other hand, if sharing a common wall with your neighbor or having a small backyard do no suit your lifestyle, a detached house may better serve your needs.
Starting in January 2015, a new law takes effect that mandates all new homes 4,500-square-feet (whether all the square footage is finished or not) and larger are required to have residential fire sprinklers. All new homes will also be affected by other new energy code changes such as air exchangers and insulation changes. It is estimated that these changes could drive up prices of new homes by more than $10,000 when you factor in the sprinklers. If you are able to purchase a new home before these changes come, it will save you some money.
Minnesota homeowners and their families will benefit from this new law: residential fire sprinklers save lives and can minimize the damage caused by a house fire. In addition, most insurance companies offer a discount from 5 to 15% for homes with fire sprinklers.
I hear this question a lot: What is the best time to sell my home or to buy a different one? Let’s take a look at the retail world of clothing. Consumers get the best deal on summer clothes after July 4th or later, just as they get the best deal on winter clothes at the end of winter. So does this trend hold true for the purchase and sale of homes? Not really. There are some considerations a buyer or seller should think about that could have an impact on the transaction.
What time of the year is a better time for buyers to buy?
First off, you can’t ever time a home purchase. It is not like going out to buy a car or a cell phone. Buying a home is a journey done in your own time and after you have done the research, looked at homes and have your finances in order. At any time there are buyers coming into the market and there are other buyers who have done their research and are serious buyers. No one gets to control this ever-changing flow. What is important to remember is that the inventory of homes fluctuates by the season. In spring (March-May in Minnesota), there is an increase of homes on the market and more homes means more options for buyers. It also means more buyers are looking, which means more competition to get that perfect home. While there are fewer homes listed from October-December, buyers may find the best buys during those slower selling months of the year.
When should sellers sell then?
Conventional sellers most likely would not list their home before the holidays or in the dead of winter for obvious reasons (snow and cold….brrrr). But serious buyers really don’t care about the season or timing. They are motivated when they are ready to buy. After the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s festivities are done, buyers start to think about resuming their home search or entering the marketplace as a new buyer. So what are the pros and cons to listing then? Listing January-June/July, sellers will have more competition, however there will be more buyers in the marketplace looking for homes then. If you list in the “off season” (August-December), you may be ahead because there will still be serious buyers out there and they will have fewer homes to choose from.
So as buyers and sellers strategize about when is the “BEST” time, the reality is – it is never easy, and it truly depends on your situation, what you have to buy or sell, and the market in general. Major retailers like Target can control inventory and monitor competitive activity. In real estate, there is not one buyer or seller – they are all unrelated and disconnected and there are all types of homes at all price ranges making it nearly impossible to pick the “perfect” time to buy or sell. I would be happy to help you figure out what time of the year is best for you to start your home search or put your home on the market.
Contact me at 651-341-6020 or [email protected] to start your real estate adventure.
Remodeling projects for your home can be as intimidating as they are rewarding. Having the right team to get the job done can make a huge difference. The first thing to do is to determine what kind of professionals you’ll need for your particular project. Small jobs may only require trade specialists such as a plumbing contractor, while larger projects may necessitate architects, design-build companies, interior designers, or all of the above. Whatever help your remodel needs, selecting the companies or individuals that fit you and your project is important. Here are five ways to screen prospective contractors:
#1: Check their experience
How long have they been in business? How much work have they done on projects similar to yours?
#2: Get references
Call references and ask questions about quality of workmanship, communication and dependability.
#3: Check their credentials
Most areas require that contractors be licensed and insured. A good contractor won’t hesitate to provide such documentation.
#4: See their work
Look at pictures, but also visit recent and older projects to view the craftsmanship and durability of work done.
#5: Establish trust
A contractor with a detailed, specific plan is important, but you should also feel in your “gutt” that you could trust someone with a project of this magnitude. Being comfortable with your contractor is very important.