1-4 Family Home
A single house on its own parcel of land best describes this type of property. It is what most people think of first when searching for a home. You can decide how to landscape your yard, if it will have a fence, when to improve or change any part of it when you own it. You can find them in the city, urban living within a master planned community or out on land in the country side. Exterior finishes vary from wood/cement board to brick, stone or stucco. Styles are also very diverse. As the owner you will be responsible for all repairs, maintenance, taxes, utilities and amenities-such as a pool or spa. This type of property qualifies for a regular mortgage.
Duplex and Quadplex properties allow for 2-4 family living space within the same dwelling. The house is divided into sections that may have the same floor plan repeated over and over. These properties are considered investment type properties but allow for the buyer to live in one section while leasing out the others.
Condos take many shapes and forms: attached townhouses, warehouse lofts, high-rise apartments, etc. All condos adhere to two basic principles:
- Each owner owns the interior of their unit — no land — and a shared a portion of everything else, from the roof and exterior walls to the land it sits on.
- All owners pay dues to fund the handling of maintenance, common-areas, repairs, insurance and amenities.
A condo can be an excellent choice. They can be more affordable because of lower construction cost and shared expenses. The association manages and maintains the property on the outside, so there is less for an owner to do. They function a bit more like an apartment complex in terms of feel and living space. There will be a bit more noise and more compact spacing. Privacy can sometimes be an issue and they do not appreciate as well as townhomes or single family properties.
The term “town house” or “town home” isn’t a legal one, but rather a decorative one. Townhomes are individually owned with the land it sits on and shares common walls with one or more neighboring townhomes.
Most of them have a small yard area and garages, either detached or attached. Similar to single family homes they can be one story or multi-level. They also are similar to condominiums due to the proximity to neighboring townhomes and shared walls. Most have community restrictions and guidelines that must be followed. The townhome complex also may have common areas/spaces for walking dogs, parks, pools, tennis courts, etc. Townhomes usually appreciate a bit more than condos.
Is it right for you? Some common concerns are tight parking, noise control and a lower resale value then single family homes.
Farm and Ranch Property
Similar to a single family home, farm and ranch properties have a minimum of 10 acres. They may have other buildings on the property like barns, outbuildings, well houses, livestock sheds or storage buildings. Some have ponds or tanks as they are referred to in Texas. The land may be flat or have season springs that run on them as well as rolling hills, cross fencing and require special equipment to maintain.
Many times they will have special exemptions attached to their tax roll. That means they have lower taxes because of the use of the land. It could be for livestock or for agriculture. When sold, the exemption may be challenged by the taxing authorities to verify the use is still applicable. Back taxes may apply if the statue changes. This type of property also places more value on the land which means it will require a special type of financing. Your realtor will be able to help with determining land use and offer more assistance with financing.
Vacant land is raw land without a dwelling. It may have some infrastructure such as fencing, a culver for drainage or driveway. It can be defined as a deed restricted, platted subdivision lot or a rural acreage parcel that has unrestricted use. If you are interested in purchasing land to build a custom home, the restricted use and location will help dictate the type of vacant land that will most likely fit your need.
It is important to note that vacant land can lie within a homeowners or property owners association as well as be inside the incorporated boundary of a city limit. When it does, you will need to verify what restrictions apply to the land for building and permitting. Your realtor will help you identify and obtain necessary community information resources. Utility options will also play a major role in land value and usability.