4 Tips For Buying Your First Townhome

Posted on: 11 August 2015

If you are a first-time homebuyer, you might be considering a townhome. This is a home that looks and feels like a house inside, but has at least one shared wall, similar to apartments and condos. Townhomes are great because they are less expensive, but provide many of the same amenities as single family houses. Here are some tips for buying your first townhome.

Get Pre-Approved

One good way to start house shopping is to first visit your bank or credit union and get pre-approved. This allows you not only to get information about whether or not you will qualify for a mortgage, but also find out how much of a house you can get. Part of the pre-approval process includes going through your finances and debt and coming up with an amount they are willing to lend you. This helps you narrow down your search results to fit within this amount.

Know if it Has an HOA

Many townhomes belong to the Homeowner's Association (HOA). This means you will have certain rules and guidelines pertaining to your townhome. They provide services like caring for your lawn, and in exchange you pay annual HOA fees. You also need to find out what their stipulations are, such as what you can plant in your backyard or if you can do any painting.

Use a Multiple Listing Service

A multiple listing service (MLS)  is a type of classified that lists townhomes and other types of homes from multiple real estate agents. This is a good idea even if you have your own real estate helping you find a townhome. It gives you more options and even if you don't choose one of these townhomes, it lets you see what types of amenities and prices are out there.

Pay Attention to Unit Placement

The placement of a unit is extremely important when you are buying a townhome. They are located in large buildings with any number of other units. You need to know if it is upstairs or downstairs and where your neighbors are. You might have an upper unit with a unit below you, or you may simply have your garage below you. You will probably have at least one shared wall, so find out where they are in your home. If you want more privacy, choose a corner unit.

If you are having trouble finding a good home on your own, consider hiring a real estate agent like Stephen McDonald CIR Realty. They often know about private listings that are not made available to the general public.