We’ve had an incredible streak of excellent shows throughout July on the Jay Garvens Show, and we’re continuing that streak today by having Chandra Hall of Colorado Mesa Realty on to talk about the different types of properties available for purchase. Potential homebuyers will find that the options available in their local real estate market will range in styles and condition, and it’s imperative that they be educated about the positives and negatives inherent with properties of varying types and quality.

‘Condition’ is the first thing to consider when purchasing a house, as the condition of properties can vary wildly in the same neighborhood, or even on the same block! You can buy a property in virtually any condition depending on what your goals are for that property. Many are comfortable buying a dilapidated house to fix up; for them, an FHA 203K ‘rehab loan’ is an ideal method of financing. Others would prefer for their house to be as move-in ready as possible with as few upgrades or changes as possible. Still others want a brand-new home built to their exact specifications, and for them a new-build home in a new neighborhood is the way to go. The builder can modify the overall design and use the buyer’s preferred paint colors, floors, countertops, etc.

However, there are trade-off when choosing between various conditions. New homes will give fewer headaches and require less patience and elbow grease, but will take between 3-5 years for equity to start building. Rehabs and existing homes offer a better value and will start appreciating immediately, especially after repairs and upgrades have been made. Buyers should consider whether the ‘new home premium’ is worth the benefit of living in a brand-new home or whether the savings of a fixer-upper better fits with their goals. There is no right or wrong answer; it’s all personal.

After condition, buyers should consider what style of home best fits them. The most traditional is the typical single family, stick-build residence with four independent walls and a yard. This is best for families who enjoy solitude, working on their yard, and so on. In many cases there will be no active homeowners association, so the owner can paint his house any absurd or obscene color they want.

Some people, however, do not want to maintain a yard or worry about the exterior of their residence. For them, townhomes and condominiums may better suit them. These are attached units—meaning they share at least one wall with a neighbor—that typically have an active homeowners association that takes care of all exterior maintenance and enforces the HOA covenants. The difference between townhomes and condos is simply that a condo owner only owns the interior of the unit while a townhome owner owns the exterior of their structure and the land beneath it. While most condos will look similar to apartment complexes, it’s possible to find condos that look like townhomes or multi-level patio homes.

Other buyers may want the opposite of the clustered lifestyle of a condo, and for them a manufactured home on land will be the best fit. These can range from mobile homes to manufactured homes, but financing for these properties can start to get tricky. Very few lenders will lend on mobile homes—that is, a home that can be hitched up and moved—while other lenders may have pricing hits and additional requirements for manufactured homes versus stick-build single family residences.

Before you even start buying, it’s crucial to know what’s actually available in your market, what the benefits and tradeoffs for those properties are, and how each property fits with your personal goals and desires. As with individuals, each home is unique and varies by style and condition. Knowing your priorities in advance will help you choose the perfect home.

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