Ethics 1 Realty
Sometimes a coop or condo is better since there's more work that goes into managing a single-family home (or townhouse). There's maintenance, upkeep, etc., that is really taken care for you in a coop or condo.
But it really depends on what your needs are. Is there enough space in the property? Is it located where you need it to be (schools, transportation, shopping, etc.)? Is the neighborhood's safety OK for you?
The next point: Forget your pre-qualification. Really. All that says is how much you CAN spend. It doesn't say what you SHOULD spend. And there are two considerations here. First, figure out how much you can comfortably afford to spend every month on the mortgages AND the condo or coop fee. While you've been prequalified up to $300,000, you might find that you're only really comfortable with monthly payments that would cover a $250,000 property. The second consideration gets back to home prices in your area and what you want. Maybe you can find exactly what you need for $240,000. Don't feel compelled to spend more just because you can (and even just because you can afford to).
The final point: That property has been on the market for nearly a year and is in pretty poor shape. I suspect you can buy it for less than the asking price...simply because it isn't selling at the current price and because it doesn't show well. Ask your Realtor what the property really is worth in today's market.
Hope that helps.
With a condo you are responsible for paint-to-paint and there are sometimes amenities included with the common areas and an HOA that maintains and covers certain expenses and services (lawn, pool, gym, etc). Townhomes are similar, but you own the land beneath you and air above you and it is not a paint-to-paint scenario.
Single Family Homes typically require more maintenance (lawn, roof, exterior, pool, etc). But you own a lot of property and usually have more space, can have pool, lawn, garden, etc.
It's all about your needs and personal preferences. And what you can get for the money in your area. If you like to garden, a condo may not be for you. If you want a 2 car garage, you may be looking more at SFHs. If you want amenities without upkeep, you may go for a condo with community pool, gym, clubhouse...
I would talk with an agent in your area and see what option are out there. They may be able to help you narrow down your search.
Single family homes are easier to finance then condos.
Condos are a way of living without worrying too much about fixing the roof or changing a water heater
that suddenly dies right after you buy...
Cooperatives (at least in Miami) are not finance-able, and they don't grow in price as fast as
So - best to go see all options and get a feel of what you like most.
As you are searching, ask your local agents what has been demonstrating the best value appreciation in the past couple of years.
Hope this helps,
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
Hope this helps.