Selecting From the 4 Primary Boston Home Types – Boston Mortgage Tips

Before you start searching for the perfect house in the Greater Boston Area, you should decide on the type of house which you want. This is an important first step; not only are there many types of homes on the market, you will also be spending a great deal of money, so it’s important to buy the home you want. Selecting a specific type will allow you to focus, making it easier to find the best house that suits your needs and those of your family.

condominium (Photo credit: OiMax)

Types of residences differ in terms of privacy, space offered, cost, and rules you will have to conform to. Understanding the different advantages and disadvantages will give you the information to make the best decision.Types of Homes In the Greater Boston Area

  • Apartment: Common inside Metro Boston, apartments are designed for people who prefer small, easily maintained residences. Pros of living in an apartment are the low cost and ease of maintenance. But, because you will be sharing walls on all sides with other people, a few negatives are the lack of privacy and the large number of rules and regulations which you will have to conform to.
  • Condominium: Similar to apartments because of the shared common space, you may find yourself sharing walls, though there are fewer of these instances than with apartments, and parking spaces.  Condos have the same negatives of living in an apartment, such as the lack of privacy and the need to conform to the rules of the homeowners’ associations. A unique negative, however, is that when you sell, you will not be able to get much more than any other condo in the same community since you cannot differentiate it from the others.  There are, however, a few pros. A condo offers more security than an isolated house, is usually cheaper than a full-fledged house, and offers more space than an apartment. So if you get along with other people, and do not mind conforming to the rules of the association, living in a condo might be a good option for you.
  • Townhouse: A mixture of an independent house and a condo, townhouses are usually found in the suburbs of Greater Boston. Advantages of a townhouse include the increased amount of privacy when compared to a condo, more peace and quiet—because they are usually two stories in size, there are no neighbors above or below you—there is more space, and at times a front yard. Additionally, you will not have to worry about exterior upkeep and maintenance. But the negatives are the need to conform to the association’s rules, and an increased cost when compared to a condo or apartment.
  • House: By far the best option if privacy, independence, space, and the ability to host barbecues in your own backyard are important on your list of priorities. The negatives, however, are the increase in maintenance costs in addition to the increased cost of the house itself. (At times, houses also belong to homeowners’ associations, so make sure to check before purchasing.)

There are other housing types, of course – a co-op, and various alternative living arrangements. These are the big four, though. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of residences you can purchase, can help you select one depending on your budget, the amount of space, privacy, and independence you require.

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Phil Ganz (354 Posts)

Philip D. Ganz is a Boston Mortgage Broker and Boston Home Loan specialist. For information, expertise, consulting, or advice about home loans, refinancing mortgages, or commercial property loans, contact Phil with no obligation: 617-529-9317

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