Deciding on a home to buy
Decide on a home
Finding the right home—in the right neighborhood—takes a lot of time. You have many things to consider. Do you want a home with a big yard or a condo in a high-rise? Do you want to live in a great school district or be close to nightlife or other attractions? This page will help you explore some options.
Brand new or pre-existing?
Get advice from real homeowners and industry insiders as you weigh this decision.
Do you remodel or start fresh?
Choose the type of home that's right for you
There are many types of homes to choose from. Each one has its pros and cons.
Before deciding, be sure to think about your lifestyle, both now and in the future. Here's a few possibilities to consider:
Single-family homesSide 1 of 2
Single-family homes, Side 2 of 2
These are freestanding dwellings that don't share a roof or walls with any other building, and each one has its own surrounding lot. They have private entrances and enjoy direct access to the nearest street.
Multi-family housingSide 1 of 2
Multi-family housing, Side 2 of 2
These can range from duplexes, where two families live side-by-side, to apartment buildings–and everything in-between. Properties can be adjacent to each other, stacked on top of each other or both. All units might be owned by one entity, or each one may be owned separately.
TownhomesSide 1 of 2
Townhomes, Side 2 of 2
Townhouses are usually single units with multiple levels that sit in a row, and they're connected to other units on both sides. They're similar to single family units in that you own the structure and the land, but the land is confined to the front and back yard of the home.
CondosSide 1 of 2
Condos, Side 2 of 2
A condominium is a private residence in a building or community with multiple units. Owners are responsible for taxes and upkeep of their space, while a management company maintains the exterior. Owners share maintenance costs through homeowners association fees.
Planned communitiesSide 1 of 2
Planned communities, Side 2 of 2
Often called subdivisions, these are typically freestanding homes with yards, but there may be rules to follow on the appearance of your house and yard. You typically pay homeowners association fees for maintenance and/or security.
Co-opsSide 1 of 2
Co-ops, Side 2 of 2
These are corporations that own a building with multiple units. When you buy shares in the corporation, you buy the right to live in one of the units. The number of shares you buy correlates to the size of your apartment, and you and your fellow owners oversee how the corporation operates.
You’ve found the perfect home! But is it the right neighborhood for you?
Here are a few things to think about.
- School district
- Proximity for school-aged children
- Access to programs and extracurricular activities
- Talk to neighbors
- Research crime rates
- Explore the surrounding area
- Commuting time
- Parking availability
- Nearby facilities and recreation
- Neighborhood walkability