Moving to the right Coral Gables home? Which homes are a fit for you?
Whether you’re already a South Florida resident or just moving to Sunny South Florida, Coral Gables has always been one of the top choices. With some of the most beautiful neighborhoods, quiet roads lined with Ficus trees and Poincianas, excellent schools and stunning properties, Coral Gables has several types of homes to choose from for your family.
Let’s take a look at what types of homes are available in Coral Gables and what some of the upsides and downsides are.
Here are a few Coral Gables homes that are currently on the market:
• Single family detached homes
Some of the deciding factors might be budget, location, proximity to good schools and work, amount of space and possible investment purposes.
Let’s take a look at each type of home in Coral Gables and list some of the things one might want to consider.
Homes that are considered single-family detached are distinguished by the fact that they are a free-standing building with no other buildings or units attached to it. Normally this type of dwelling is on it’s own lot which is larger than the actual home, although there are properties where the home does take up the vast majority of the lot.
Pros: You own both the structure and the land. You can modify both to suit your own tastes (unless you buy into a planned community with its own restrictions). If you want to knock out a wall and expand, no one can say “no,” so long as you obey zoning regulations. You’re the king or queen of your own castle, however Coral Gables does have some guidelines that need to be followed to remain within City requirements.
Cons: Everything’s on you – mowing the grass, fixing the foundation, spraying for termites. Unless you live in a development with an active homeowners association (HOA), there’s no governing body or board to help you make decisions or share the tab.
Also called townhomes, these homes are connected by shared walls and often have common driveways. Townhomes once were considered small, cookie-cutter dwellings. These days, they can be lavish, large and individual, with open floor plans and elevators.
Pros: You’re part of a community with neighbors who are, literally, spitting distance away so it works if you like gossiping over the fence. Also, many communities offer amenities like gyms, pools, golf courses and spas as part of common charges or are available for an annual fee.
The City Coral Gables (The City Beautiful) offers some of the most beautiful landscaping and architecture in South Florida.
Cons: Townhomes are attached or clustered together so that you sometimes can hear your neighbors and they can hear your. Landscaping and yard maintenance – if you have a yard – is often the individual’s responsibility, although common areas are usually cared for by the community. Also, because your townhome is part of a greater whole, you may be assessed to fund repairs of parking areas, exterior painting and other maintenance tasks for common areas.
Condos are usually similar to apartments but you own it outright. Like a single-family dwelling, and unlike a co-op, you own a deed to your condo. But unlike a single-family home, you are attached to neighbors typically by common walls, floors and ceilings. You also share common areas like a lobby, party room and other amenities.
Pros: You own your place and do what you’d like, within the confines of your condo association rules. There’s no yard to mow or exteriors to paint. Condos are usually more affordable than single-family detached homes and offer amenities.
Cons: You pay monthly homeowner’s association (HOA) fees to fund maintenance, common-area repairs, insurance and a contingency fund. You have association rules to follow, which can control everything from how you pitch your trash to what furniture you’re allowed to place on your balcony. And like any unit that shares walls, privacy may be an issue.
Co-ops (not very popular in South Florida)
A co-op (short for cooperative) resemble condominiums but are a legal entity consisting of individuals who together own the entire property. When you buy into a co-op, you don’t own your own unit; rather you own shares in a corporation that entitle you to live in one of the units under a proprietary lease or occupancy agreement.
Pros: Because you are buying “shares” not a “deed,” purchasing property in a co-op is often less expensive than in a condo. The co-ops board votes on all major decisions, including who can buy into the building.
Cons: The co-op board is all knowing and all powerful. It approves potential residents, and it can evict a resident, just like a landlord. Co-op boards can reject buyers for no stated reason (though by law it can’t discriminate), making it harder to sell your shares. It can also reject a sublet tenant. When it comes to renovations, the board can reject plans or the project entirely if it conflicts with its goals or scheduling priorities. Also, monthly co-op association dues are usually higher than condo-dues because they include real estate taxes and some utility charges.