Not every real estate transaction is the same. Often, there are key differences depending on the exact type of real estate you purchase. For instance, buying a townhouse is a bit different than buying a single-family home. If you are thinking of buying your own townhouse, then here are a few tips you will want to follow for a good experience.
1. Do hire a real estate agent.
It's a little easier to buy a townhouse without an agent than it is to buy some other type of home without an agent. Many townhouse communities will work directly with buyers. However, although not entirely necessary, it is still a good idea to hire a real estate agent. They are trained negotiators and can negotiate on your behalf, often earning you a better deal on the home. They'll also handle a lot of the phone calls from lawyers and from the bank so you don't have to devote as much time to this red tape.
2. Ask about HOA fees before you make an offer.
Almost all townhouses are part of a homeowners association, or HOA. These associations assess fees each month. Often, this fee is somewhere around $100 or $200 a month, but it varies from community to community. Make sure you know what the HOA fees are before you make an offer on a certain townhouse. You will need this number to figure out how much you can reasonably afford to pay for the home.
3. Be prepared to keep bidding.
In the best townhome communities, there are often multiple buyers waiting for a unit to open up. So when a townhome becomes available, you can expect there to be multiple offers. Make sure you have all of your financing in order and that you know exactly how much you are able to afford before you make an offer on a townhouse. You may get outbid and need to bid again, and you don't want to bid more than you can afford just because you got caught up in the moment. Also make sure that you and your real estate agent do some research into what a particular townhome is actually worth. You don't want to over-pay, either.
With the tips above, you can have a smoother and more successful townhouse purchase. Be ready to keep bidding, let an agent help you, and prepare in advance for those HOA fees.