5 min read

ellipse icon

Mar 2017

What Type of Home Suits Your Lifestyle?

Owning your own home is a big achievement. For many buyers, there’s a sense of pride attached to the ownership, appearance, and function of their home. We strive to make our homes a direct reflection of our personalities and lifestyles. You’ll come across several different home types during your search. But how do you choose what works best for you and your family? To help make a decision, consider your lifestyle needs, preferences, and priorities. Are you looking to start from scratch, or are you interested in hunting for your dream home? Are you considering an urban environment, or are you drawn to a rural and slower-paced lifestyle? Here are some types of homes and neighborhoods to consider before you start your homeownership journey.


Are you interested in owning your own space, but don’t want the hassle of yard work? Condos and townhouses can be a good option for younger homebuyers who prefer living in an attached community. It’s also a great option for homeowners interested in downsizing or living in a more convenient location. Condos are housing developments where you own the interior of your home. What makes it different from a detached, single-family house is that the exterior space and common areas are shared among all the homeowners in that development and managed by an association. As an owner in that development, you have voting rights towards decisions made around the common areas.

Condos often provide the great benefit of living in a convenient location with no exterior maintenance requirements of the homeowner.

Older homes

Urban areas have increased in popularity with younger generations. Homes tend to be closer to walkable shops, cafes, and city centers. They also provide that old-school charm you just can’t find anymore. If you like older homes and the convenience of location, urban homes could be the right decision for you. But keep in mind, not all older homes have been updated over the years. Along with the old-school charm comes old-school functionality, which means you may require making some renovations or upgrades to modernize the home on the inside.

Renovating a Home

Not only does renovating allow you to improve the functionality and look of your home, but it could help you increase the home’s value, as well. >If you don’t have cash to pay out of pocket for renovations, you may be eligible for a Renovation loan, which has a couple options: Standard Repairs and Limited Repairs. The Renovation Loan will provide you with the financing you need to get the work done. Both options require you to at least spend $5,000 on your renovations, which seems like a lot, but in reality a bathroom update could require at least that much.

Making Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Another common need in older homes is to make the home more “green”. It’s no surprise to owners of older homes when they discover their insulation is either old or just not there, air ducts aren’t working properly, or windows seep air. To prevent these maintenance costs from springing on you later, you can tackle these upgrades when you buy your home by adding the energy efficient mortgage to your home loan. It could save you money down the line if you have all systems working properly before you move in.

Newly built

Maybe an urban lifestyle isn’t for you. Well, you can forgo the hunt and build your own home, just the way you like it. That’s one of the biggest reasons why homebuyers choose to build — the ability to customize with a suburban life. You’ll be able to choose your neighborhood, choose the look of your house, the size, the materials used, energy-efficient additions, and more when building new.

Building does come with a cost, both financial and in time. You’re constructing an entire house, so it could potentially be pricier and take longer than buying an existing house.

It’s a different experience to build a home than purchasing a move-in ready home. If you have the financing (which can be clarified by your mortgage banker) and the patience, then you can choose to build your dream home. When it comes to financing a home built from the ground up, a construction loan is a possible solution. It’s a good option if you’re building your primary residence, or a second home. It’s also a good option if you need to buy land to construct or even if you already have land and just need to build a home. There are also other options for customizing a home with land, that are typically less expensive. For example, you may be more interested in a manufactured home, where majority of the home is built ahead and then simply assembled on the land you’ve purchased. Modular houses on the other hand, are homes that are small enough to transport in one piece. Both manufactured and modular homes have their own financing options with certain lenders, so you can easily discuss this with your mortgage banker to see if it’s really the best choice for you.

Suburban homes

Perhaps building new isn’t really your thing, but you like the idea of living in a suburban neighborhood. There are many benefits of doing so. For starters, it’s usually less expensive to buy a house in the suburbs of a city than near downtown. You could possibly afford more home if you are thinking about growing your family. Suburban homes also tend to be newer, so there’s less work you’d likely have to put in upfront. More millennials are also moving to suburbs and creating urban-like lifestyles there.

“Urban-burbs” as they are often referred to, are millennials’ solution to purchasing affordable homes but keeping the unique neighborhoods that city centers and urban areas have to offer.

It’s the best of both worlds, and as far as financing, it entirely depends on your unique financial situation. If you’re eligible, government-insured loans are a possible option for this case, as well as a typical conventional loan. If you’re interested in larger and/or pricier homes, you may be eligibile for a jumbo loan. To get an idea of what loan is best for you, ask your mortgage banker. You can do that before you look for a home so you have a clearer idea of what you can afford and which neighborhood you should look into.

Farmhouses and rural homes

Speaking of urban areas vs. suburbs, you can also move out even further to more rural areas. Living in a rural area has many benefits too. One of those benefits is the unique farmhouses themselves, and another is the quieter, slower-paced lifestyle. So if you’re considering settling down in a quieter area, maybe getting more in tune with nature, then a rural and country house may be your best choice. Whether you’re interested in living a farmhouse life, or you simply live in an area that’s considered rural but looks suburban, you can potentially finance for those specific areas with a USDA Loan, if you’re a low-to-moderate income homebuyer. Have an idea of the type of home you want now? First get started on the mortgage process so that you can know how much you can afford. Contact your mortgage banker for help.