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There are many real estate options when deciding on a home. Wondering what one is best for you and your family, or do you want to know how to distinguish between different property types? To find out, take a look at the definitions below for the most common types of residential real estate.
What Is a Single Family Home?
A single family home is simply an individual residence that houses one family. It is a freestanding, unattached dwelling unit, typically built on a lot larger than the structure itself, resulting in an area surrounding the house, or in basic terms, a yard.
What Is a Multi-Family Home?
A multi-family home has multiple separate housing units within one residential building. A good example of a multi-family home is a duplex. In a duplex, an individual house is divided into two homes. One family lives in the upstairs and one family lives in the lower or main level. Both levels have all of the necessary aspects of a home and have a separate entrance.
What Is a Condominium?
A condominium is a multi-unit dwelling in which each unit has separate ownership. The owners of all the individual units are jointly responsible and equally share costs of maintaining the building and common areas. Usually the shared costs are included in the homeowner’s association dues which are included in a monthly mortgage payment.
Condominiums can be attached or detached. Detached condominiums, are similar to a townhome where there are units that can be attached on either side; however, no other condominium units are attached above or below. Attached condominiums are similar to an apartment building in the sense that there can be units above, below, and attached on either side of the condominium.
What Is a Site Condominium?
A site condominium is a method of land division. The homes are unattached, may not look identical on the exterior, like most condominiums, because the owner is responsible for not just interior, but also for the exterior maintenance of their home. This is not to be confused with a Planned Unit Development (PUD) because PUD zoning is usually created through the State Subdivision Plat Act.
What Is a Planned Unit Development?
A planned unit development (PUD) is a project or subdivision that consists of common property and improvements that are owned and maintained by a homeowner’s association for the benefit and use of the individual units within the project. For a project to qualify as a planned unit development, the owners’ association must require automatic, non-severable membership for each individual unit owner, and provide for mandatory assessments. This contrasts with a condominium, where an individual actually owns the airspace of his unit, but the buildings and common areas are owned jointly with the others in the development or association. Planned unit developments offer varied and compatible land uses, including housing, recreation, commercial centers, and industrial parks, all within one contained neighborhood.
What Is a Cooperative (Co-Op)?
A co-operative is a multi-unit housing dwelling which allows multiple owners that share in the cooperative corporation that owns the property. In other words, each resident in the co-op is a shareholder and the relative size of the unit determines the proportion of the corporation’s stock that the resident holds. Each shareholder, or tenant, pays a monthly fee based on their proportionate share of stock to cover the mortgage, taxes, and maintenance costs.
What Is a Modular Home?
A modular home is a home that adheres to the same construction codes as a site-built home. Modular homes are typically constructed at a manufacturing plant or facility, in three or more pieces, and then transported to a permanent site on a flatbed truck to be assembled on a permanent foundation. Modular homes are often confused with manufactured homes.
What Is a Manufactured Home?
A manufactured home, also known as a mobile home, is a dwelling that is built to the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. Unlike a modular home, these standards are set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Manufactured homes are built in a controlled setting, typically a manufacturing plant or a factory, and are transported in one or two pieces (single or double-wide) on a permanent steel chassis to a location using its own wheels.
Every manufactured home has a data plate (HUD Tag) that is readily accessible and visible, usually near the main electrical panel. The data plate contains information including: the manufacturing plant in which the manufactured home was assembled, the serial number and the date the unit was manufactured. To obtain a mortgage, the home must be permanently affixed, with towing hitch, wheels, and axles removed and skirting around it.
No matter what type of home you decide upon, take your time while you figure out what will work best for you and fit into your budget.
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