Choosing your next home can be an exciting but overwhelming experience. One of the biggest questions that you might ask is

What kind of home should I buy?”

Here are the most common residential categories that most homes fall into. You can start by looking at these four kinds of homes to streamline your choices.

Single-family detached

atlanta modern homeDefined as a singular residential structure sitting on its own piece of land, a single-family detached home gives the owner – hopefully you, in this case – the absolute reins in terms of home style, modification, internal house rules, and more. This kind of home ownership unfortunately comes with a price: you are left to deal with maintenance and repair works necessary to keep the place intact.

Single-family detached homes come in various shapes and sizes, from a rustic bare-bones shack to the most luxurious looking designer home inside a gated community.

Condominium

condosHomes that fall under this category have two rules to follow in terms of ownership: (1) The condo unit owner can claim ownership of the unit’s interior and have co-ownership of other exterior sections of the building and community facilities together with other unit owners; and (2) The owner is bound to pay association fees to cover repairs and utilities in community areas, building maintenance, and insurance.

Many home buyers prefer to live in condominiums because majority of the units are much cheaper than single-family detached homes. Condo living also provides perks such as community maintenance (no need to mow your own lawn!) and amazing amenities (clubhouse, swimming pool, or gym facilities). The biggest disadvantage of living in a condo is the presence of more people in the vicinity, which could rob you of some private space, peace and quiet.

Apartments, warehouse lofts and attached townhouses belong to this category of residential building.

Co-op

co-op housingThis type of home is fairly uncommon in most U.S. states, but upscale and high-density cities have turned to co-ops (or cooperative apartments) as a viable residential option. Instead of owning a residential unit similar to condo living, residents are considered as shareholders of the company financing the structure. The owning company is in charge of managing the property, evaluating monthly dues to be implemented, and shouldering the mortgage.

Because of their shares in the company building, co-op owners have voting rights on decisions involving the residential building. They can even refuse potential unit buyers, which could be a little intimidating if you’re the one planning to buy.

Town Houses

townhomesThis category involves a mixture of features found in single-family detached homes and condominiums. Town houses are essentially detached buildings that contain adjacent residential units separated by common walls. Examples include inner-city row houses and even as lavish as golf course villas.

A typical town house comes with an open yard and community amenities such as swimming pool and courts. Unfortunately, the adjacent neighboring homes may cause a great deal of noise and limit your privacy. Cost-wise, town houses are more affordable than single-family detached homes.