Townhome or Condominium?

Often future home buyers come to Realtors with questions about whether to buy a town home or a condo? There are several items for consideration in when deciding which fits you best!
If you want to own your own yard, no matter how small, townhomes are the way to go with your purchase. Most often you have a patio or deck, room to take a small dog out and enjoy a little bit of the outdoors. Homeowner association fees tend to be much less expensive.
When purchasing a condominium, you own from your “center walls” inside your home. Jointly owning common areas and air space with your neighbors in the building. Home owner fees are higher, but in the long run, maybe not really. In most condos, your HOA fee covers your building insurance, trash pickup, exterior lawn care and total building maintenance outside, even the roof. Most will include your water and sewage as well.
As a buyer, it is imperative to READ your association package. Look for future special assessments for items such as a new roof. Make sure proper reserves are in place for future expenditures. You never want to be hit six months, after you purchase your condo, with an assessment to cover the money necessary for items, such as a roof or exterior painting.
Also do not forget the option of a smaller and / or older home. “Sweat Equity” seems to be an item of the past. Home buyers today, seem to not want to paint, replace carpet, or windows. But for those of you who are interested, the smaller / older homes are out there! If you have energy, good friends who will help or family with talents. Consider this option.
Find a great Realtor. One who will help you, guide you and treat you as you would want to be treated. A huge part of our careers is as a Real Estate Consultant / Counselor. Take advantage of a professional, and allow that person to guide you to the “nest of your dreams”!

Robert Dawson, Broker, LAR President is the owner of Dawson Ford Garbee & Co and the board president for the Lynchburg Association of Realtors.
Robert Dawson, President
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