The home buying process can be stressful in today's market, especially with the fierce competition surrounding homes for sale and the prices they are selling for. A townhome provides you a more affordable option for a single-family home, and your Realtor can help you navigate through the market to find exactly what you want. Here are some recommendations to help you through the purchase process to buy a townhome.
Understand the HOA
When you are considering the purchase of a townhome, it is a single-family home, but different from a detached home and has a Homeowners Association (HOA). A townhome will have community areas on the property that the HOA pays for to maintain and keep up. The HOA also handles the yard care around your unit. If the townhome property has a swimming pool, park, tennis courts, and fitness center, your HOA fees will go towards their maintenance and upkeep. Although the HOA fee may vary from each townhome and the amenities provided on the property, be sure you check out how much it is and what it covers so you have a full understanding of what you would be buying into.
A townhome for sale may have a patio, porch, or small yard area where there is lawn and other landscaping growing, but you need to find out if any of it is maintained by the HOA. This can give you a break from yard maintenance and ensure your property always looks great. The HOA fee can also cover maintaining the sidewalks with repairs, then clearing them in the winter of snow and ice, which is an additional benefit.
With the help of your Realtor, check into the HOA fees and its regulations so you know exactly what is covered and also what rules the property includes for its homeowners. If you are working in a fast market, you can submit a purchase offer with the contract contingent upon your reviewing the HOA rules before you close, which will provide you plenty of time to review them later.
Hire an Inspection
Once you are under contract to purchase a townhome, you will have some time during the process to hire a professional home inspection. The professional inspector will go through the townhome and check it out for any problems and damage. Although a property looks great, there may be issues hidden that the seller may not even be aware of, and it is good to get a clear understanding of what condition the property is in which you are purchasing.
Your inspection will check the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC, along with the foundation and look for any drainage issues inside the home and also outside around the landscaping. It is important to find these issues before you close so you can negotiate them into the purchase.
To get started finding a townhome, contact a local real estate agent.