Some may say that a townhouse is perfect for first-time home buyers and empty nesters as they provide the perfect alternative to owning a single-family home. If the idea of living in a townhouse has never crossed your mind before, you may not be familiar with what makes them so desirable.
What exactly is a townhouse?
A townhouse is an individually owned, multi-floor home that is attached to one or more units. The residents own and are responsible for the interior and exterior of their townhome. Townhouses look a lot like the traditional detached homes but tend to operate more like a condo. What does this mean? If you buy a townhouse, you might be part of a homeowner’s association. More on this later.
Townhouses are popular in dense urban and suburban areas and are known for their architectural style, consist of an attached home with shared walls, multiple stories, and sometimes have a front and back yard. Like condos, they share common spaces such as the pool. All in all, townhouses can be an affordable way for home buyers to get into a home in an expensive area.
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of townhouse living to help give you a better idea if a townhouse fits your lifestyle.
What are some advantages to living in a townhouse?
Cheaper than Owning a Single-Family Home
Townhouses tend to be more affordable than single-family homes. And, if you’re considering buying a townhouse over renting, a townhouse has similar monthly costs. In addition, by owning a townhouse you will build equity.
The great thing about townhouses is that sometimes there are front and backyards. And the best part is that most townhome HOA’s take care of landscape maintenance. So, if you’re not a fan of mowing the lawn, trimming shrubs, or pulling weeds you’re looking at the right type of real estate investment.
Townhomes are certainly situated in convenient locations. You will not find yourself in the middle of nowhere. In fact, a townhome will put you near plenty of amenities such as shopping, dining and entertainment.
Sense of Community
Unlike owning a single-family home where you have a few neighbors spread apart, with townhome living your neighbors are must closer, making it feel more like a close-knit community!
Did we mention convenience and amenities? Many of the services and amenities that you need will be included in the HOA fee or purchase price. What does this include? It includes things such as pest control, HVAC inspections, trash service, as well as amenities like swimming pools and gyms.
Townhouses are similar to condos, but there is definitely one clear difference. If you own a condo you have ownership rights over the interior of the structure. When you buy a townhome, you usually own the exterior as well (check your HOA rules and regulations).
In addition, if you have a furry friend, we have good news. Your townhouse community may allow pets which is great because most come with a backyard! Make sure to check with the townhome association to see if pets are allowed.
What are some disadvantages to living in a townhouse?
Townhouse living means sharing a wall with your neighbors on either side. This could ultimately be a deciding factor for your especially if you’re living next to someone who isn’t the most courteous neighbor. Keep in mind, your backyard will not be as private as if you were to own your own home.
If you’re comparing townhouses to condos, townhouses come with more responsibility in terms of repairs and maintenance.
HOA Rules & Regulations
Take time to learn about the homeowner’s association. It’s important that before you decide to buy a townhouse you read up on the HOA rules and regulations and make sure to ask any important questions. Keep in mind, some townhouse communities have communal areas such as swimming pools and parking lots. These are probably controlled by the HOA. In addition, while you may have ownership of the exterior of your property, some HOAs will regulate the kinds of improvements you are allowed to make. Every townhouse community’s rules and regulations are different.
HOA Fees Can Get Expensive
Lots of times, people buy townhouses to save money. HOA dues can add additional costs. It’s important to make sure you take those into account before buying. In the end, if your HOA fees are higher then expected, you won’t be saving much. Fees can also change or increase over time.
Resale values on townhouses sometimes lag values of single-family homes in certain markets.
As you can see, there are many pros and cons to townhouse living. It truly depends on what your wants and needs are. Ask yourself, “What do I want out of homeownership?”
Some people like the idea of living in a smaller space that offers the freedom of owning a single-family home with the amenities of living in a condo, while others might have a strong preference for a detached home or condo.
We suggest shopping around to compare different townhouse communities. See what best fits your lifestyle. And, if townhouse living is calling your name, take the next step by giving us a call or click here to get your free pre-approval.