Tory Keith Real Estate

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Andrew Mitchell & Co
33 Bradford St
Concord MA 01742


Monday, February 6, 2012

Condos vs. Single Family Homes - Which to Buy?

With interest rates at record lows and more properties to choose from as the spring market picks up, there is no doubt that it is a good time to buy. In lots of cases, condo and single family home prices are comparable, so buyers have to make the decision of which type of home to buy. Here are a few of the pros and cons:

Benefits of Buying a Condo

  • Less maintenance and upkeep than a single family house
  • Landscaping and snow removal are often included
  • Many complexes offer amenities like pools, fitness centers, and other common spaces
  • Location: sometimes condos are an only option in convenient urban areas
Downside of Condo Ownership
  • Condo fees can significantly increase the cost of ownership
  • Association approval required for certain projects and/or improvements
  • Shared decision making on how condo fees are spent   
  • Less appreciation in value than single family homes, making it more difficult to resell, especially when buying a new or newly renovated unit
  • Financing can sometimes be more difficult in complexes with a low owner-occupancy rate
Pros of Purchasing a Single Family Home
  • Control over the property and any changes or improvements
  • No condo fees
  • Better resale value than condos
  • Usually more space, particularly outdoors, and more privacy
Cons of Owning a Single Family Home
  • Owner is responsible for all maintenance, repairs, and improvements, which can be costly and time-consuming
  • Often more expensive than condos
  • Utility bills can be higher because there is often more space
  • Purchase price is usually higher, especially in more expensive towns
The decision really comes down to a matter of lifestyle, personal preference, and how long the buyer plans to stay in the property. There are lots of great options available right now for single family homes, condos, and multi-families.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Don't Buy This House!

Every day, I see lots and lots of listing descriptions. Most use their 200 words to take advantage of the many adjectives available to highlight a home's better qualities - if it's a "majestic, sprawling, newly renovated estate", you can usually expect a decent property (even if the "estate" is under a thousand square feet). But what about when you should "come to are open house to see the custome cabinets with granit countertops, new vynal siding, included home warrantee and alot of possibilyties for apartyments"? The one blurry picture taken with a cell phone makes it hard to tell whether there's a house on the property or not.

Please, State of Massachusetts, make the real estate exam harder and throw in a writing component so the rest of us don't look bad!