Real Estate Insider Blog

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Condos, Townhomes & Villas - What's the Difference?


Purchasing Clearwater area real estate isn't difficult if you know what type of property you want to buy. Before you start looking at properties, you need to decide whether you want a condo, townhouse, or a villa or if either one will do. It pays to learn the difference between these three property types before you start looking at all the available Clearwater real estate, especially when housing inventory is so low right now.

When you purchase a condo, you're purchasing one unit in a larger building. You own the unit that you live in and are required to pay condo association fees to help maintain the common areas of the property. Owning a condo is ideal for anyone who enjoys apartment-style living, but doesn't to rent.

Townhouses are slightly different than condos. In most cases, townhouses have several floors, and when you own a townhouse, you own the interior and exterior of your unit. Some townhomes even come with a garage. Basically, when you own a townhouse, you have a home with similar features to a free-standing home, but at least one wall is shared with your neighbors. Like condo owners, townhouse owners are typically responsible for paying a monthly maintenance fee to keep the property in tip-top shape.

If you're looking for a vacation home, you might want to consider purchasing a villa. Many villas sit on larger properties and usually have larger interior space than condos and townhomes. They are typically lavish homes that...

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If you have great neighbors who take care of their yards and keep their homes in good repair, you are very lucky. When it comes time to sell your home, they won't bring down your property value. How can some else's loud dog, unkempt lawn and peeling paint affect the value of your home?

Like it or not, no one is going to want to pay top dollar to move next to that. The closer you are to the problem neighbor, the more it will impact whether a potential buyer will walk away. This problem is even greater when it comes to condos and townhouses in close proximity. The good news is that this also works the other way around. Living by homes with maintained lawns and nice landscaping increases your home value as much as 11 percent, according to a report from Virginia Tech University.

Even if a home is in good shape, if it is in foreclosure, the market value for the home will drop. This impacts other homes for sale in the area, including yours. Even if Realtors exclude these properties from their CMA valuations, a study cited by "The New York Times" revealed that a foreclosed property next door drops your property value by 1.3 percent. That might not seem bad, but in reality, a foreclosed home is also likely to be in disrepair.

There is little you can do to make your neighbors turn over a new leaf. If you suspect code violations, you can call the local municipality to report them. However, it may take time to get any results. More...

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