How Much Space Do You Need?
There are a couple of factors that determine the type and size of property you need. One such factor is your family size and the amount of space you will need. Do you want a dedicated home office? Or maybe a fantastic kitchen with a kitchen island?
A detached house maybe is your only option if you have a large family or want extra space, but if you are a couple or a small family of three, you have more options and can also consider a townhouse or a condo apartment.
What’s Your Budget?
Perhaps you’ve determined that a detached house would be a better option for your family’s needs, but you don’t know whether you can pass the mortgage stress test for the mortgage amount that you can afford or even afford the monthly mortgage payments.
It’s always a good idea to use a mortgage payment calculator to know the breakdown of your monthly mortgage costs so then you would not be surprised by your monthly payments after the home purchase. If you don’t have the budget to buy a home but still need a large space for your family, renting (vs. buying) might be the better option. The calculators we have provided will give you an excellent idea of how to budget properly.
Would You be Working from Home Most of the Time?
You also need to consider how much time you would be spending in your home office (if you choose to have one). Would you be working from home most of the time or using your home only in the evenings and on weekends? This would have a huge impact on the amount of space you choose to set apart for your home. If you would be working from home a lot, consider large spaces so you can allocate enough space to your workplace.
It is always recommended that you use separate spaces for sleep and as a working space, so using the same bedroom all day and night i.e. for both work and sleep is a wrong strategy. For this particular reason, detached houses and townhouses often work better than condo apartments because they are more spacious and as such, allow you to be creative in your allocation of areas for work and home/family spaces.
Are You a New Parent or Aged?
As a new parent with little kids, a home with a lot of stairs might not be your first option. With a lot of townhouses these days having a combination of 3-4 floors each with tiny spaces, they might not be a good fit for you and your family.
The same thing applies to an aged person, who is unable to climb a lot of stairs and consequently, would be avoiding townhouses with a few floors and even some detached houses. At this juncture, it might be a good idea to get a condo unit close to an elevator for ease of movement.
Time Spent Commuting
Many people in large cities complain about traffic and long commutes. After all, commuting can be expensive. If you are among them, you might prefer to live closer to your workplace. This might mean that you should choose a smaller property since large properties (e.g. detached houses) could be too expensive around business centers. Currently, most people who live in cities with poor transit infrastructure prefer to buy or rent apartments in high-rises. With renting, there is also the increased flexibility if you eventually want to move somewhere else.
Time Spent Maintaining the House
Some houses require your full commitment in terms of maintaining the house. Are you a handy person who has a lot of free time or otherwise? This should greatly influence your choice of a house.
If you are a very busy person and don't need much space, definitely condo apartments or even condo townhouses would work better for you than freehold properties, since the condominium board will take care of the property as opposed to detached houses, where you are responsible for everything from the lawn to snow removal, etc. However, if you or perhaps your partner is a handy person that enjoys fixing small things, you’re home and dry with a detached house, as you’d enjoy taking care of its various needs.
Are You in Love with Pets?
This is a very important question to answer, as it bears great influence on the kind of house you’d end up buying. A lot of properties forbid keeping a lot of pets, and this is especially true for pets like large dogs. Knowing that some properties are unfavorable to the keeping of large pets already helps you filter these houses out if you’re a pet owner.
Do You Plan to Use The House as an Investment?
If you plan to buy a house mainly for investment purposes, then you might consider purchasing a freehold and the rights to its land. Typically, such freeholds (e.g. detached houses) tend to grow faster in value than condo apartments or condo townhouses. As such, you have a higher chance of profitability if you buy a detached house rather than other property types.
Should You Consider Downsizing?
As you grow older, you might find that you don’t need to have so much space, especially if your children are out of the house. If you’re past the age of retirement or want a simpler lifestyle, consider downsizing or getting a smaller house. Not only would you be saving a sizeable sum of money by paying less property tax and maintenance fees, but you would also save time with cleaning and upkeep and have more free time to spend on the things you actually want to do.
Buying a house is both exciting and scary because it is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life. Before looking for potential homes, remember to figure out your criteria by factoring in what you would be needing from the house.
If you are investing, make sure to find a property type that suits your goals. The same goes if you plan to retire soon or want a shorter commute. Once you’ve decided on a property type, it may be time to find the right real estate agent near you to guide you through the rest of the buying journey and help you find the best home for your needs.
Other Helpful Huliq Real Estate Resources
How does earnest money work - get a detailed overview of how earnest money works in a real estate transaction. Learn what is considered an allowable money source and what isn't.
Don't take on more debt than you can handle when buying a home - buyers should be advised not to spend more than they can comfortably afford when purchasing their first home. Just because you qualify for a larger mortgage doesn't mean you should get one.
About the author: The above article on how to choose the type of property to buy was written by Anne Barry.
Anne has been working with writing-challenged clients for over five years now. She offers ghostwriting, ghost editing, coaching, and SEO writing for businesses that want to see their sites at the helm of Google SERPs.
Her education background in communications and public relations has given her a concrete base from which to approach different topics in various niches. Her writing skills can be confirmed on upwork.com, where she is a top-rated freelance writer. She especially enjoys writing website and blog content for startups and e-commerce businesses.