Row house or Detached?

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Mrs Adnan
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:08 am

Row house or Detached?

Post by Mrs Adnan » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:00 pm

Hello,

We as a family of 4, husband and wife and kids aged 10 and 8, want to buy a home in the Turku area.
My kids go to International school so our preference is to buy somewhat near the school.
Please suggest that which area will be the best in terms of reselling the property in future if needed.

Also, we are not sure if we should go for Row house or Detached house?
Can you please list some of the pros and cons of both from your experiences?

Also, I am confused about the monthly maintenance charges for Detached house. Are there any like Row house since the ads on the housing sites do not mention any.

Thanks in advance!



Row house or Detached?

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riku2
Posts: 868
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:13 pm

Re: Row house or Detached?

Post by riku2 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:50 pm

The monthly charges depend on whether the house is part of a housing company or not. Row houses normally are (since they are joined to other houses and there is naturally some link between the houses). Detached houses normally are not in a housing company but some are and they are called "erilistalo". This does not have a good translation to english because there is no concept of housing company in english. The etuovi site in their english version calls detached houses not in a housing company "detached houses" and the detached houses in a housing company "separate houses" which is not clear in english at all.

detached house/row house (and i'm using the english terms here): the obvious benefit of less noise coming through the walls, probably more of your own garden etc with a detached house.

housing company/not a housing company: things are often shared such as snow work, garden maintenance (sometimes done on a rota basis, sometimes by an outside company at a cost). there is a disadvantage that you are not master of your own house. you might have to pay for new bathrooms, windows, garden renovations etc whether you consider they are needed or not. On the other hand if the windows of six houses are replaced at the same time then it's cheaper than each homeowner getting the work done separately.

i have a detached house not in a housing company. I have no monthly maintenance charges. but when trees fall down or the boiler breaks down then I am paying 100% of the cost. plus I have to either shovel the driveway myself or ask my neighbour with a tractor to do it.


Mrs Adnan
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Re: Row house or Detached?

Post by Mrs Adnan » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:53 pm

riku2 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:50 pm
The monthly charges depend on whether the house is part of a housing company or not. Row houses normally are (since they are joined to other houses and there is naturally some link between the houses). Detached houses normally are not in a housing company but some are and they are called "erilistalo". This does not have a good translation to english because there is no concept of housing company in english. The etuovi site in their english version calls detached houses not in a housing company "detached houses" and the detached houses in a housing company "separate houses" which is not clear in english at all.
This was very useful to know. The translation thing :thumbsup: thanks alot!
riku2 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:50 pm
detached house/row house (and i'm using the english terms here): the obvious benefit of less noise coming through the walls, probably more of your own garden etc with a detached house.
Yeah, obvious benefits :)

riku2 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:50 pm
i have a detached house not in a housing company. I have no monthly maintenance charges. but when trees fall down or the boiler breaks down then I am paying 100% of the cost. plus I have to either shovel the driveway myself or ask my neighbour with a tractor to do it.
Thank you for your kind response.
How about insurance? Someone said to us that detached house will cost most in insurance as compared to Row house?
And again, if we get the insurance done, would it not cover the costs of broken stuff like you gave example of boiler breaking down?

Thank you once again! :D


riku2
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Re: Row house or Detached?

Post by riku2 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:39 am

How about insurance? Someone said to us that detached house will cost most in insurance as compared to Row house?
And again, if we get the insurance done, would it not cover the costs of broken stuff like you gave example of boiler breaking down?
The insurance for a detached house is probably more than for a row house because generally detached houses are bigger and would cost more to rebuild, but I doubt there is a huge difference and i'd certainly value the lack of any shared walls or garden over a slight increase in insurance costs. The insurance i'm talking about is for damage to the house (eg tree falls on it, lightning hits it, the house burns down) and not for any wear/tear items (roof starts to leak, window frames rot, boiler breaks down).

I'm not totally sure about houses but with flats in a housing company you do not own the outside of the building/outside surfaces of the windows/exterior doors (these are jointly owned by the housing company, of which you own a % share). so you are not directly liable for rotting window frames, front door warping and not fitting, water damage to the outside walls .. but on the other hand you're paying a monthly fee towards that, so in effective paying for it anyway (and if the house opposite which faces south needs a new front door due to sun damage then you will partly pay for it even though your front door facing north is ok!). if the damage is general to all the houses then perhaps this is acceptable but you're jointly liable for all houses in the housing company.

about the boiler - in cities the heating is generally "district heating" anyway with hot water piped into the house for taps and heating. so there is not actually a boiler anyway. houses in a housing company might have a room (eg part of the garage) with heat exchanger common for all houses and then direct heating/hot water from there. houses not in a housing company would probably have their own heat exchanger although these are far more reliable than a boiler/heat pump system. This only applies to cities though, there is no district heating in the countryside. If a house has a ground heat pump instead of boiler then that's a plus since it isolates you from oil price rises. Someone I know with an air-heat pump told me it hardly saves any money though, so avoid that (also totally electric heating which is expensive). If there is an air heat pump/air conditioner, ask why they have it - it might reveal the house gets too hot in the summer and needs cooling which is not good (perhaps windows are designed for looks rather than opening and you cannot get enough fresh air in).

flat roofs - avoid like the plague since they leak sooner or later. it seems madness to have flat roofs when there might be 1m of snow and ice on top but it was popular in the 70's for some reason.

on a separate topic you asked about which houses keep their value / increase in value more. You should beware of any houses that are different to what is normally expected. i saw a house in the countryside that looked really nice (big plot, big house from 2000's) but no sauna inside! this is quite unusual since even new flats have their own sauna now, and is sure to put off a lot of potential owners (even if you are happy with no sauna). So compare the houses and beware of any that are wildly different to others (even if you don't exactly know what finnish buyers find attractive).

also consider the size of the house with regards to how many would normally live there. a 200sq m house with two bedrooms and huge two level lounge might be great for a bachelor but that size of house normally attracts a family with teenage kids who want their own bedroom (plus guest bedroom). so you are cutting down your potential buyers in years to come.

en-suite bathrooms are largely unknown to finns though. so if you are used to this don't get alarmed and reject houses - since you'll otherwise reject about 98% of houses on the market. give it 30 years and perhaps finns might appreciate them though.


Upphew
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Re: Row house or Detached?

Post by Upphew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:50 am

Mrs Adnan wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:00 pm
Also, I am confused about the monthly maintenance charges for Detached house. Are there any like Row house since the ads on the housing sites do not mention any.
When you buy a house you own it and you pay for it. In apartment you pay part of everything that housing company pay. Thus in maintenance charge you pay for: cleaning, mowing, electricity to common areas, water to common areas, taxes, insurance, book keeping, salary for manager, trash disposal, all the little things maintenance does. Basically you pay and things happen or you have couple of numbers to call and things happen. When you are home owner you are the manager, book keeper and maintenance guy.
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riku2
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Re: Row house or Detached?

Post by riku2 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:11 am

Upphew wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:50 am
When you buy a house you own it and you pay for it. In apartment you pay part of everything that housing company pay. Thus in maintenance charge you pay for: cleaning, mowing, electricity to common areas, water to common areas, taxes, insurance, book keeping, salary for manager, trash disposal, all the little things maintenance does. Basically you pay and things happen or you have couple of numbers to call and things happen. When you are home owner you are the manager, book keeper and maintenance guy.
if you are using "house" and "apartment" in the english sense of the words then that is not true. There are "houses" with monthly maintenance fees like I explained before. This "house" is currently for sale and the photos and floor plan clearly show it as what we could call in english a "detached house" (to be precise a "bungalow" in british english since it's on one floor only). There is a 122e/month maintenance fee and the details clearly describe the housing company it's part of - just like an apartment would have.

https://www.etuovi.com/kohde/7867877?sc ... 2554&pos=3

Velaton hinta:
290 000 €
Myyntihinta:
290 000 €
Neliöhinta:2 959,18 € / m² Yhtiövastike:
122,50 € / kk
(Hoitovastike 122,50 € / kk)


Upphew
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Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:55 pm
Location: Lappeenranta

Re: Row house or Detached?

Post by Upphew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:00 pm

riku2 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:11 am
Upphew wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:50 am
When you buy a house you own it and you pay for it. In apartment you pay part of everything that housing company pay. Thus in maintenance charge you pay for: cleaning, mowing, electricity to common areas, water to common areas, taxes, insurance, book keeping, salary for manager, trash disposal, all the little things maintenance does. Basically you pay and things happen or you have couple of numbers to call and things happen. When you are home owner you are the manager, book keeper and maintenance guy.
if you are using "house" and "apartment" in the english sense of the words then that is not true. There are "houses" with monthly maintenance fees like I explained before. This "house" is currently for sale and the photos and floor plan clearly show it as what we could call in english a "detached house" (to be precise a "bungalow" in british english since it's on one floor only). There is a 122e/month maintenance fee and the details clearly describe the housing company it's part of - just like an apartment would have.

https://www.etuovi.com/kohde/7867877?sc ... 2554&pos=3

Velaton hinta:
290 000 €
Myyntihinta:
290 000 €
Neliöhinta:2 959,18 € / m² Yhtiövastike:
122,50 € / kk
(Hoitovastike 122,50 € / kk)
True, true... one can't see from the street if a house is a house or housing company.

Op is looking for a home in Turku area and in Turku there seems to be one erillistalo for sale compared to 168 omakotitalos. One thing to note is that the transfer tax for real estate and buildings is 4% and 2% for shares.
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network_engineer
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Re: Row house or Detached?

Post by network_engineer » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:47 pm

You have some good advice up here.

You could also look at paritalos, i.e. two houses on a single plot, the taxes are cheaper. All in all, it depends on the amount you want to pay for things to be taken care of for you, vis-à-vis doing things yourself.

We got some rotten advice some 20 odd years ago when we moved here, i.e. to buy an apartment, then a row-house, and then a detached if we wanted to - the sole reason being that you would learn to maintain in a step-by-step manner. Worst advice ever. We landed up paying a ridiculous amount in taxes.

I personally do NOT like the kerrostalo/ rivitalo ToS that use the housing company services, but it could just be that I have had poor experiences, with the snow removal not done, the stairs not cleaned properly, sauna (that was in an apartment complext) not maintained etc. I once confronted them and told them, when I paid the bills, I don't give two hoots, but I want the work done according to the contract. They did not like that so much, especially coming from me. :twisted:

Regarding the housing company and operatives, I also know some people that are really stuck with the housing company decisions and the way payments are done, particularly when it comes to window replacements or in the cases of plumbing (there have been several articles in the newspaper about that). If apartment plumbing are renovated, you can expect to pay an additional amount the housing company (rahoitusvastike); the problem is that some few months after the house is done, the prices of the apartment in that area are still too low making the house a liability. So, personally, I don't care for their services, especially after all the news regarding the lack of transparency, and the hiked up costs.

Regarding maintenance on detached houses, we live in one, so a lot of the costs and activities are up to you. E.g. I have to mow the lawn, cut the trees, repair the trenches, paint the house etc. The worst is shovelling the snow (not sure how much Turku gets) :twisted: . But we do all of it. Compared to an apartment (and also row-houses AFAIK), the water is also based on consumption, so while shaving, I don't leave the water running, or shave while showering. :) You will also need to do all the other stuff, e.g. re/build the deck/ terrace, etc. But since I do most of the things myself, and there are no time constraints, I find that cheaper. E.g. I rebuilt the deck and the total cost was 700e vs. getting it built was about 3k. In my previous house, I was working to replace the windows, and the offer was about 6K eur (11 windows on two floors), but we sold the house before that. Even in the apartments with 3-4 windows the prices can be almost double! Depends on how much you can do alone/ with friends. To me, maintenance on the detached house works out cheaper. But remember to have some saved for these expenses.

Insurance, you have to shop around, and if you consolidate the insurances, it get cheaper. Also, if you have a loan, most banks offer you some insurance package. Please still do shop around.
riku2 wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:39 am
flat roofs - avoid like the plague since they leak sooner or later. it seems madness to have flat roofs when there might be 1m of snow and ice on top but it was popular in the 70's for some reason.
:thumbsup:
Upphew wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:00 pm
One thing to note is that the transfer tax for real estate and buildings is 4% and 2% for shares.
:thumbsup:

Remember, if this is your first house, and you are under 39 (IIRC), you are also entitled to a tax break (question: is this still valid?).
Last edited by network_engineer on Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Upphew
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Re: Row house or Detached?

Post by Upphew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:28 pm

network_engineer wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:47 pm
Remember, if this is your first house, and you are under 39 (IIRC), you are also entitled to a tax break (question: is this still valid?).
Yup, 18-39. That might change as the 39 is seen as discriminatory. But legislation won't be moving fast unless it helps with upcoming election.
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Mrs Adnan
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Re: Row house or Detached?

Post by Mrs Adnan » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:45 pm

Waow :o thank you everyone for your kind advice and time to respond in such detail :thumbsup: :D
Much appreciated!

I will get back with more questions if any when going through the purchase :)
My vote is for detached house from day one, was a bit confused about certain things only.
My husband is leaning more towards the row house :)

Lets see how it turns out!

thanks once again! :)


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