I don't know your specific area. However, here's a link that explains a lot about the tax assessment process: http://brtweb.phila.gov/brt.apps/FAQ/faq.aspx
As far as maintenance, townhouses usually require somewhat less. The reason is that there's little or no yard (thus no yardwork). The roof area is smaller than for a single family home with the same square footage. Also, a townhouse will have only 2 or 3 sides (in the case of an end unit) exposed to the elements, thus helping reduce utility expenses.
But, of course, that assumes the townhouse and the single family home are in about the same condition. A single family home in great condition would require less maintenance than an older, less well-maintained townhouse.
As far as insurance, the primary consideration is the value of the property. However, there are dozens of other variables. For example, what deductible do you want? What's the crime rate in the area? Does the home or townhouse have an alarm system? Or (in some areas) bars on the windows? What's the method of heating the property: gas, electric or oil? How close is the property to a fire hydrant? How many insurance claims were filed by the previous owners? There are LOTS of variables.
A Realtor can answer many of your questions. A good insurance agent can answer questions pertaining to insurance.
The tax credit is for up to $8000(10% of purchase price) You can now get the money ahead of time for downpayment or closing costs on an FHA loan. You must have the required 3.5% down payment but can add the credit onto your down payment. otherwise,you amend your taxes and get the money later. it does not have to be repaid as long as you live in your house for 3 years. here is a link:
A great way to find out how much it will cost you to move to Philadelphia is to contact a PA mortgage company and ask them to give you a good faith estimate on a property that you like. They need the property so they can calculate the taxes into the mix. If you are working with a realtor in PA they should be able to help you with your costs to close as well.... more