3 Things You Must Know Before Buying A Townhouse

Posted on: 16 July 2020

Buying a new town home can be an exciting purchase. Before you jump in and buy one, however, there are a few key points you must know. 

1. Not all townhouses are created equal.

While most new town homes for sale have two or three floor plans to choose from, they are all fairly similar. Pick the one that works best for your needs, but keep in mind that the more bedrooms that your chosen unit has, the faster it will sell in the future. Conversely, a studio or a one-bedroom unit will be harder to re-sell later. ApartmentTherapy.com, a site dedicated to condo, town home, and apartment living, states that a one-bedroom condo is a "tougher sell" in suburban areas because you are limiting your buyer pool. 

Another point to consider is that an end unit is most desirable as it has more windows and natural light. You may pay more for one now, but it will also allow you to sell for more money later. 

2. Understand the HOA.

Not only do you need to have a full understanding of what the HOA (home owner's association) fees are and what they cover for your monthly budgeting purposes, you also need to know what the by-laws state. HOA by-laws typically cover issues like architectural control and lawn decor. If you have a garden gnome collection, this could be a hindrance for you. Likewise, if you intend to rent out your home at a later date, you will want to make sure there are no stated limitations on short- or long-term rentals in your complex. 

3. FHA Loans can be tricky.

Many first-time home buyers purchase their town home through the FHA's home loan program. While FHA loans can help people ease their way into home ownership with lower down payment options and credit scores, there are also additional hoops to jump through when it comes to townhouse and condominiums. The complex that you purchase in must be on the FHA-approved list. This list is simply a way for the government to protect first-time home buyers. 

FHA loans also require a pest inspection in addition to the typical home inspection. An FHA pest inspection is an in-depth look for pest infestation, above and beyond a standard home inspection, and is another way to protect home buyers.

Buying townhouses can seem like a scary process, especially for first-time home buyers, but understanding the three points above will help you move through the process effortlessly.