Home Buying in 91915>Question Details

Daniela, Home Buyer in Chula Vista, CA

What would be the best buy for me, a first time home buyer, townhouse or single family house?

Asked by Daniela, Chula Vista, CA Tue Oct 30, 2007

Help the community by answering this question:


Daniela, it all depends on your needs, location is one of the most important issues, and of course your income, this is how much can you afford. Eastlalke is a great community with many amenities, and a town home is a great way to start, but also a detached home, we still have low prices and low interest rates.
Good luck in your search.
Mary Villalobos
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 17, 2010
Hi Daniela,
I own a home in the 91915 zip code and I know the schools there because my kids go to Eastlake High/elementary.
Depends on your time horizon of staying in the house. Typically all the 91915 homes, condos and townhomes have HOA's and melloroos. which can last up to 25 years. Also, do you have a family? will you need a large backyard or do you prefer no back yard. The HOAs typically in townhomes can be more then the SFR detached homes...for example in Eastlake area I have seen the HOA's go up to 127/ monthly and the townhomes I have seen go to almost 200/monthly. Also what type of financing are you getting into FHA /VA?? if its Fha/VA many of the newer townhomes will NOT accept FHA/VA financing...because many of them were built in 2004 and 2005 and at the time conventional loans were "king"
Here is my recommendation:
If you can afford the increased price of an SFR go with the SFR why? because you will have more oppotunities with finding homes because if you are using FHA/VA financing..typically all will accept that.
But if you have 10% down "conventional" financing the choice if yours...just take your pick because you wont be restricted..on any home.
I do know how to get good people into homes:)
Call me for more info:
Vincent Villafranca, REALTOR, ABR, CDPE
619 972 8798
Eastlake/ Otay Ranch homeowner
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 8, 2009
My opinion is that if you can afford a single family home buy it instead of a condo as long as it's in the area you want to be in. There are less fees when living in a home because there's no monthly HOA fee within the condo complex. This could save $100 to $500 per month in expenses. A home might be more to buy but in the long run it should appreciate more. The question is, what do you want in a new place to live? Make a list and see which one suits your needs better.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 29, 2008
You want to buy as smallest one as possible that can accomodate your living need. e.g. buy a 1br condo first, and later rent out your 1br condo and buy a 2br, and later rent out the 2br again and buy a 3br townhouse, and then rent out the townhouse and move to a 4br house. Why?

Because, if real estate going to go down more, you would have great chance to buy more and move up, and if it still go down, you can keep getting great deal. And when real estate soft, rental will be hot, so you can get very good rent, and your rent will be kept increasing, so your cash flow will increase.

Also, every time and each time you buy, you are "owner occupied", so the bank will give you better rate, and fewer point ...etc. but you have to buy Bigger one to move up.

Within 10 years, the real estate price is for sure to at least DOUBLED, and at that time, when everyone rush to buy real estate, you can sell your 1br, 2br and 3br and 4br and living in a big 5br house load up with huge equity.

Why real estate price always appreciated in the long run? no one pointed out one thing; that is Property Tax the local government charge, another cost is "marketing cost" when real estate change hands such as commission ...etc. Upgrade is another one. Now you also got yet another one the US Dollar depreciated. So, you are almost guaranteed to win with the above real estate strategy.

If you jump on to buy a huge single family house that you do not need, that's the end of it. You will find yourself have many rooms NEVER visit, and you would be paying lots more mortgage for space you do not need, and if the real estate do finally double in 10 years, before that happen, you feel very bad. So,don't jump! Buy wise!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 22, 2008
It's still location, location, location! If you are looking in the same neighborhood, sure buy the single fam. detached home, but if it's between a TH in a great neighborhood vs. a house in a so-so neighborhood, you might think twice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 29, 2007

Great Question!!!

If you can afford to purchase a home over a condo it is usually the better investment. My opinion is that you would need to prioritize what you want in a new home or condo:

Bedroom Count?

And so many more. I think you should take some time and figure out what is most important to you and your family. If you are ready to buy visit our web site at http://www.eHomeConnect.net and see what’s out there and for how much in the area you’re looking for. If you need help seeing what you qualify up to for a loan amount send us an email and we’ll get started right away.

Mike Lewis eHomeConnect Agent
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2007
Single family house! HOAs and CCRs will drive you to drink! Add those dollars to a mortgage payment. In the long haul the SF home will out perform the Condo.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 1, 2007
It is an individual preference. How long do you plan on living there, are you considering keeping it as an investment and moving up in the future, are there areas where you want to live where townhouses and SFR are similarly priced? Each type of property has advantages and disadvantages. Townhouses are great if you do not like to do or hire someone to maintain the area around your personal residence. Townhouses many times have additional facilities that all the homeowners can benefit from and split the costs. SFR can be more private but can be quite costly depending on the amount of maintenance necessary to care for the house.

It is an individual choice - congratulations on becoming a first time home buyer!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 31, 2007
Look at your needs, and how long you plan on being in the house. Then go get pre approved and see what you qualify for. Next, start looking within your price range/what you qualified for for a mortgage. Remember to consider additional expenses such as insurance, home association fees and utilities.
Web Reference: http://www.iansellsnola.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 30, 2007
The HOA fees for a townhome that you pay will take care of maintenance responsibiities you would personally incur in a SF home that is not in an association. Some buyers look at those fees as more costly than what they can do for themselves in a SF home.

In most areas, SF homes are better value builders/holders, but that is not a blanket statement for all areas. Particularly, in areas where there are highrises, or land is at an extreme premium, condos become much stronger performers.

Add up your projected costs for total home ownership for both a condo and townhome and compare. Are you willing to invest in lawn equipment and do it yourself vs. having it done in a HOA?

Compare costs and lifestyle tradeoffs for both types of housing and determine which suits you better.

Additionally, how long do you plan on staying in the property? If you are looking to move up to a larger property quickly, choose a property now that has the greatest chance of turning quickly.

If you choose the route of the townhome, or any property that has an HOA, make sure and review their minuites of their meetings, CCR's and financials before locking into a contract. You can make your offer contigent upon inspection/approval of the documents.

Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 30, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Red Bank, NJ
Michael is right. Additionally, think in terms of your future. Where do you see yourself 5 year or 10 years from now? If you move up to a bigger and better house in the future, would you want to rent out or sell the current house? What would be easier in the location you are buying in? To sell or rent out? Also, there is issue of affordability. You might able to afford for "more" of a townhouse today than a single family house.
Web Reference: http://www.cimpler.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 30, 2007
ARTUR URBANS…, Real Estate Pro in Burlingame, CA
It's a lifestyle choice. Ask yourself if you like maintaining a yard? Do you have a dog or kids that would enjoy the yard? The resale on a single family home might be better. My first time home buyers that lean towards town houses do it because it's what they can afford or because it's easier to maintain.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 30, 2007
Great Question Daniela! Your first question should be ..What are my long term plans? This answer should determine which homeownership model fits you. From a professional perspective I want my clients to grow their Real Estate portfolio in a manner that would accelerate their long term goals. Affordability is very important. A single family home will suit those looking to grow their family without the need to 'buy bigger' later. If you are wanting to gain properties to leverage into a Trophy home or to own multiple properties then, a townhome may suit your goal. Affordability! Homeownership is compelling when there are fewer financial pressures attached to it. Always keep quality of life in perspective when you determine your long term plan! In today's market, a financial plan that includes homeownership, should have 3-7 year strategy on the real estate piece of you plan. In other words, where do I want to be in 3-7 years!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 30, 2007
What is your lifestyle like? do you enjoy having barbeques? You would probably want a yard for that. Are you planning on having a family? do you have any pets? Homeowners associations can put restrictions on animals. Look at what your needs/expectations are and then decide.
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 30, 2007
It woudl be based off of what you can afford. You get more for your money in a townhome however as far as appreciation goes, a single family home will appreciate better over the years than the condo. This will give you more money in the end when you decide to sell and upgrade to a newer or larger home. I have ran into some cases where it is easier to finance a single family home vs a condo as well. But if you can seem to find a single family home acceptable to you in your price range there is nothing wrong with a condo. It is stil huge step forward and much better than renting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 30, 2007
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