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Whether you’ve done it before or not, buying a home and planning a family move is a stressful time. The cost of rent is skyrocketing all over the country, forcing more and more families to reevaluate the next move they make very carefully. Many potential homeowners are looking at condominiums and town houses as possible substitutes for the traditional single-family home as they are smaller, more modern and will often have group associations that take care of chores like maintenance and landscaping.

The typical family home is no longer the norm, which makes a lot of room for alternative housing that is still just as valuable to the buyer and the overall family experience. Let’s take a deeper look into condos, town houses and single-family homes and weigh the benefits of each.

Image source Flickr

Condominiums

Depending on where you’re looking, you can usually find condos marked at a much lower price-point than single-family homes. They also usually come with desirable amenities that would not typically be affordable for an individual home owner, such as a swimming pool, golf course, or fitness center. Often even the physical location—if it is on a beachfront or close to a ski-resort—can be huge draws.

However, it’s important to note that condos do not appreciate in value at the same speed that houses do. When the time comes to sell, you may take a loss. The potential for depreciation of value over time is without a doubt the biggest downside of purchasing a condo. Especially if many of your neighbors are moving at the same time, you’ll have a hard time differentiating yourself from the competition and may have to sit on the property as it depreciates in value right before your eyes.

Town Houses

On the surface, condos and town houses are very similar. They are communities of homes that share walls and certain communal spaces. The major difference with town houses is that the owner will not only own the interior of the home (as is the case with condominiums), but the exterior of the building, which includes the roof, lawn and drive. When you buy a town house, there is an enhanced sense of ownership. Especially when compared to condominiums, which are essentially apartments that you can buy instead of rent.

Single-Family House

Let’s do an exercise. Close your eyes and imagine the ‘American Dream’—it’s a pretty clear picture, right? A single-family home with a white picket fence and 2.5 children. It’s an image that has been around for a long, long time and isn’t going anywhere any time soon. They are a staple of the modern American suburb. They will typically come with a garage, a big yard, and all the privacy that comes with not having to share walls with anyone else.

However, with all that freedom and space comes the responsibility of maintaining it by yourself. Many people take pride in their lawns and over landscape of their yard, although this is not the case for everyone. Landscaping costs aren’t the only the additional costs associated with owning a home. For example, compare homeowners insurance quotes for all of the above and you will find that owning a home is much costlier than owning a town house or condominium.

Whether you opt for a condo, a town house or a traditional single-family home, the choice is ultimately up to you and what is right for your family. It depends on your stage of life, how much you’re looking to invest right off the bat and what you aim to do in the future.

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If you have watched any reality television shows about house hunting, or have paid attention to real estate stories that are online, there are always people who buy a house and then end up with a nightmare. Just because a home looks like it is one of the best and most picturesque listings you have ever seen, you still need to be cautious of what it really is. Any given home could be hiding a significant number of problems just out of sight, so you need to be certain to keep the following points in mind before you purchase a new house, even if it does look like it is the house of your dreams.

Have an Appraisal Done

As Yahoo News states, the cost of a home appraisal is not that expensive, but you need to have it done. On the basis of a market valuation you might be willing to pay a certain amount of money for a home, but you also need to be aware of just how much money it actually is worth. And, while you might also be worried that you will lose the house if you make it conditional on an appraisal, then you have to remember oftentimes the banks will want some sort of appraisal done anyways to ensure that they won’t actually be giving you more money than the building is worth.

The reason an appraisal is also such a good thing is because an appraisal will take into consideration everything from the comparable values or the market to also understand what your finances will be. As the appraiser looks at the house they may also even take into consideration some of the current values of the home itself, and might be mindful enough to tell you when certain aspects of the home might need to be replaced, updated, or repaired in order to get full value. The unit appraisal is a great benefit because it means you know the true value, and as you deal with the bank it also means you know exactly what numbers you are working with when it comes time to make an offer, obtain financing, or close on the house.

Photo Flickr TeeWilson

Photo Flickr TeeWilson

Know the Details of the Surrounding Area

The most important thing you have to do when it comes time to find a townhouse for sale with DDProperty is that you specify the areas you are comfortable with and know what type of environment you will actually be in. While every area is going to have their own benefits and their own problems, you just can’t afford to live in a spot where you know the hassle is too much. What if the crime is too high, the traffic and noise are too dense and loud, or even the schools aren’t that great? When you are looking for the next place to call your home and you have to understand exactly what you are getting yourself into, the one of the best things to do is find out about the area.

If you are unaware of the general area, you could always continue to seek out advice by asking your realtor. After all, they should be comfortable enough with a given location to tell you what you need to know. On the other hand, you might want to be sure you are getting the up to date information straight from the source and in that case you could always just speak with the neighbors of a potential home and see what they have to say. Take all information with a grain of salt just in case they are overly happy or unsatisfied with the area, but where there is smoke there is fire and you should also be able to spot trends if multiple people have the same opinions about an area. The last thing you want to do is to move into an area where you have things surprise you, after all.

Know Your Upfront Costs

While costs can absolutely change depending upon the location, the realtors, the type of loan and even the type of property, if you are looking to buy a home then you need to know the cost of the closing itself is expensive but everything leading up to it will absolutely nickel and dime you as well. The fees and taxes that are already mandated for the services you are expecting can be enough of a hit on your wallet or your purse, but when you start to think about the specifics of what else is going to start costing you then you have to know what you will be on the hook to pay.

According to Fox News, the other things you should be expecting to pay when you are looking to buy are the add-ons that most people know they pay but don’t realize how quickly they add up. Homeowners insurance is one, and PMI can be another. You don’t even know you need to pay them until you recall how expensive they actually become. Throw in the costs of maintenance for cleaning supplies and something like a lawnmower and your expected costs are through the roof.

Deciding on a house that you fall in love with will be exciting enough for anyone to want to rush through. Once you have found the unit of your dreams then why do you want to wait for anything else like specifics, fine print, or even paperwork? However, if you aren’t comfortable with the idea of making sure you know exactly what you are getting into, then perhaps home ownership isn’t for you yet.

In 2014, there is a very strong likelihood that the value of the UK real estate market will increase nearly 8%. There were surprise gains in 2013 that took place in all parts of the country, causing the estate agents and banks to estimate that this boom in the UK property market will continue throughout 2014. This seems to be the consensus view among economists and property professionals. There has been a round up of a survey that was conducted by more than seven banks, estate agents, and surveyors that shows that there will be a further growth in the UK property market and this is through the widespread forecast on the property markets.

Sunset at Hearst Castle
Stuck in Customs / CC BY-NC-SA

Gains will be particularly strong in the South East and in London, partially due to the initiatives of the government in encouraging banks to lend more money for remortgage deals and mortgages, and for consumers to buy more property, in a program known as Help To Buy. This has greatly restored some degree of confidence to the property markets in the UK which has been lacking for the past few years, hence leading to increase in demand. Even though the government of the UK has tried to remove some economic stimulus and has brought about some minor changes in how the mortgage markets are regulated, the property market is nevertheless expected to rise in 2014 as demand for real estate booms.

The expected results of this increase in the property markets in 2014



Due to the public belief that the growth in consumer confidence in the economy in late 2013 is likely to gain momentum in the 2014, people are becoming more willing to buy real estate, driving the price up. Property professionals are expecting a high likelihood that there will be a large increase in the buying and selling of houses, and more than one million homes will be bought and sold. Due to the increase in the transaction levels there is a high expectation that the growth in the real estate market will be around 8 per cent, but may be in the double digits. All this is caused by factors such as:

  • Better economic conditions
  • Improved confidence
  • Increased availability of mortgages

In the UK, the biggest winners in the property market boom will most likely be the sellers of high tech homes, the wrecks, and eco-homes. The UK property market has also split into two regions of particularly strong growth: London and South East. London is the biggest hotspot in the increase in the property market, growing at over 10 per cent last year. This is expected to continue throughout 2014. Due to the continuing boom in the UK property market in 2014, now is the best time for investors to invest more in real estate, and diversify their holdings.

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In the past few years Bangalore has emerged as one of the most sought after places of India. One of the major IT hubs of the country, this city has allured people from the world over. The favorable weather, good job opportunities, friendly people, and mesmerizing lifestyle have inspired people to invest in the real estate and get settled in the city.

The fast growth of the IT companies has led to the increase in high net worth individuals ready to invest in luxury homes. As a result, luxurious villas have become a fad in this city. In recent years there has been a great rise in the demand for premium properties, especially villas. With most of the IT companies located in the Whitefield area of Bangalore, there is an increase in the demand for villas in Whitefield.

Roofs and Sea
Fr AntunesCC BY

With the increase in the disposable income most of the residents of Bangalore, people now aim to own world-class homes with the best of amenities. Most of the buyers look for villas in Whitefield close to their workplace as well as close to other basic amenities like medical centers, schools, supermarkets, and more. This helps them to save on the time and money spent on commuting. Luxury homes have now become a necessity for the opulence demanding young professionals.

These villas in Whitefield come with all the basic as well as luxurious amenities including private parking, swimming pool, personal terrace gardens, gym, spa, modern fitting & fixtures, Jacuzzi, foolproof security system, centralized heating, & air conditioning, and more. Some developers also offer customized villas and hence cater to the individual style and needs of their clients.

Another important reason for more and more people getting keen to buy villas is the factor of safety & privacy. The villas are considered safer and also provide the privacy which everyone requires for one’s family.

However, an important to note in this context is the rising prices of these villas in Whitefield. With the demand increasing and the supply of premium homes & villas not at par with the demand, has led to the overall increase in the price of the real estate in Bangalore. Another important reason for the increase in the price of villas is the increase in the labour and raw material rates. However, this has not stopped the buyers to invest in these properties. On the contrary, there is a surge in the demand for these villas as most people consider it to be a good long-term investment which would yield profitable returns in the long run.

The main reason for the shortage of supply of these premier homes is the huge investment required to build these villas. Not all real estate developers have the availability of land as well as finances to build such large properties. Another hindrance is the getting the required sanction from the authorities for building such properties is a time consuming process. Hence, it is only the big players of the real estate market that can afford investing in such big projects.

In the present day, the real estate property market is actually full of dream properties overloaded with all kinds of modern facilities that anyone can dream of. Moreover, the Villas in Whitefield are ideal buys in the market for those who are looking for something really good and magnificent villas. No wonder, the price range depends on the kind of facilities and amenities available for the buyers. The scenario is changing these days and there are lots of people who can now afford to buy these villas.