Real Estate

Housing Options: What Do You Want, Need, and Can Afford?: 4 Options

Although considered by many to be an essential ingredient/component of the American Dream, unless you want to risk it turning into a nightmare, an individual should instead seriously consider the best path forward for him personally and think on some of the most relevant topics, related to the place where one lives and calls – his – home! Housing options include: what you want; need; and can afford, and, choose, whether to rent or buy, a co-op apartment, condominium, or other type of home. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly consider, examine, review, and discuss these 4 options and determine which one might best suit your needs.

1. Rent: Many people decide, or can only afford, to rent a place to live, rather than make a purchase! Some may not enjoy the prospect of having the responsibilities inherent in homeownership, while others may be unsure about their employment plans, possibilities, security, or potential need/desire to relocate to another region/area/neighborhood, etc. . . . Others may not have the necessary credit needed to secure financing/mortgage! For some, they have not set aside the necessary reserves for a down payment and other necessary reserves for closing costs, renovations, reservations and moves/furnishings, etc. Sometimes people are not yet ready for the full experience of homeownership.

2. Cooperative apartment: own a cooperative, or apartment co-op, is not considered real estate ownership, because one is buying stock, rather than real estate! Securing a mortgage for these generally requires different standards, such as a higher down payment, etc. This is generally less expensive, up-front, than buying a condo, but often comes with higher monthly fees/costs.

3. Condominium: Condominium ownership, in general, means that you own your home, outright, but there is common property, of what we refer to as common areas, such as streets/pathways, yards, etc. Mortgage terms and requirements are often very similar to buying a home. Some are attracted to this, because it requires less individual maintenance, etc.

4. Houses: Decisions needed when buying a home include not only area, etc., but also what you can afford, meets your needs, and what style of home is best for you. Consider how much land you want, maintenance, costs, etc., as well as personal needs and what makes you happiest. Also, what style of home makes sense and will you like (ranch, split level, colonial, etc.)? While one ranch style is on one floor, the others often require climbing steps, etc., and for some, that matters!

Since, for most of us, our home represents our single greatest financial asset, doesn’t it make sense to proceed wisely and with considerable thought, etc.? Will you become a wise homeowner?