You have many options to choose from when looking for a place to live in New York City. Each of the six property types below has its own unique set of characteristics that can affect your ultimate decision.

6 Types of Residential Structures in New York City

Before you decide on the type of property you want to live in, figure out how much you can afford by creating a realistic budget.

Many people do not know how much money they spend each month. Make a list of every purchase you made in the last three months.

Separate the regular monthly expenses from incidental purchases to get an idea of what is necessary and what is not.

Your next step is to compare how much you earn to how much you spend. Add some padding to your budget as there are always unexpected costs and expenses.

1. Condominiums

When you purchase a condominium (condo), you own an individual apartment in a multi-unit building. All owners share the ownership of common areas such as the laundry room, hallways, and lobby.

Owning a condo gives you flexibility over the inside living space. Purchasing a condo is relatively simple. No interviews are required, and most allow you to finance up to 90% of the cost.

Transactions typically take between one and two months to close once a contract is signed. You will receive a deed to the condo upon taking ownership.

You pay a monthly maintenance fee to the Homeowner's Association (HOA) for the upkeep of common areas and the condo complex. They also cover services and amenities that may be available in the building.

The maintenance fees do not include taxes. As a condo owner, you will receive a tax bill directly from the city.

If you are looking for freedom and flexibility, a condo is a popular choice. Some condo owners choose to rent out their apartment. This requires you to complete an application to rent out your unit to the condos' board of directors.

2. Co-Ops

Like a condo, a co-op is an individual residential unit inside a building. However, in a co-op, you do not own the unit.

Instead, you purchase shares of the corporation that owns the building complex and the exclusive right to use and live in the individual unit.

Purchasing a co-op is generally less expensive than other residential options. But there is an approval process that can take time.

You must be approved by the co-op board first. Your application can be rejected for whatever reason if the board members feel it is justified by law.

The board also has the right to enforce rules that could limit how you remodel, use, or renovate your unit.

3. Cond-Op

Although not as common as other residential structures in New York City, cond-ops are a rare apartment hybrid.

They are buildings with a mixture of condos and co-ops that have been divided into sections for both residential and commercial uses.

Sometimes the condo spaces are used for retail purposes while the co-ops are residential apartments. As a co-op resident, you own shares in the corporation that owns the residential portion of the building.

4. Townhouses

Many townhouses in New York City were originally built as single-family residences. They include gardens, terraces, and basements.

Because space is at a premium, many townhouses converted into multi-family dwellings that share one or more walls with an adjacent unit.

Townhouses often consist of rows of uniform homes, two stories or more. As an owner of a townhouse, you own the interior and exterior walls, roof, and lawn.

5. Single-Family Home

If privacy is important to you, a single-family home is your best bet. Not only are you purchasing a single residential unit, but you are also buying some yard space.

As the sole proprietor, you are responsible for anything that happens to the house and the land.

However, you are also not restricted to what you can and can not do inside or outside your property.

If you want to make changes or remodel, you can seek the advice of a professional that deals with custom homes in New York City.

6. Multi-Family House

When you buy a multi-family home, you are purchasing both the land and the property. Most of these types of homes are divided into two to four units. Each unit has its own entrance and meters.

Although multi-family homes are considerably more expensive than single-family properties, most people who do purchase them, intend to rent out the units.

If you are looking for rental income, keep in mind that you will be taking on additional responsibility as a landlord to your tenants.

Which One Should You Choose?

Each type of residential structure in New York City is unique with its own benefits and demands. Choose the type that you can afford and matches the amount of time you are willing to commit to maintaining it.