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 Things to Consider
 Signing the Lease
 Rent vs. Buy
 Things to Consider
 Cost of Ownership
 The Buying Process
 Real Estate Agents
 Mortgage Loans
 Types of Loans
 Before You Sign
 The Contract
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Part of the "American Dream" is home ownership. Yet, depending on your lifestyle, owning and more importantly maintaining a home may not be a perfect fit for you. If you choose home ownership, understand that the overall process involves a great deal of careful planning and analysis. Besides locating the "home of your dreams," you will also have to determine:

  • your price range
  • what type of mortgage to choose
  • what type of homeowner's insurance coverage is adequate
  • what type of property structure is right for you


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The following are the different types of home structures available to own:

Ownership- Condos

A condominium can be an apartment, townhouse, or duplex. Unlike renting, you have ownership in the property. However, when owning a condo you usually own only the inside walls of the dwelling. Outside dwellings of condos are owned by the association, which takes responsibility for the upkeep. Condo owners typically pay a homeowner's fee which covers facility cost such as grass cutting. As an owner, you receive a title and joint ownership in any common areas and facilities, such as swimming pools and tennis courts. The association also develops certain by-laws or rules of conduct that every owner must follow.

Condos usually cost less than houses, because they typically offer less space. Additionally, many people are attracted to condos because they do not want the responsibilities of maintaining and up keeping the outside of the property. Yet, it is important to remember that association terms and conditions will limit your freedom to decorate and landscape your home.

Ownership- Co-ops

In this form of housing, tenants own a share of the corporation which owns the building. Residents lease their units from the corporation and are also charged a monthly fee proportional to the amount of ownership they have in the property. These charges generally cover the cost of service, maintenance, taxes, and the mortgage on the entire building. However, the charges are subject to change depending on the decisions and actions of the board of directors, which determines the corporation's policies. Importantly, cooperative apartments are non profit corporation and owners receive the tax benefits resulting from ownership when preparing income taxes.

Ownership- Single Family House

Owning your own single family house makes you the king or queen of the castle. Excluding single family home owners who live in neighborhoods with homeowners' association, owners are free to decorate the inside and outside of their home as they see fit. However, with the freedom comes sole responsibility of the total upkeep of the property. 

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