Advantages and disadvantages to consider before buying a townhouse — RISMedia
If you are considering buying a first home, one of your options could be a condo or a townhouse. Most people think these two housing terms are the same, but they are not. Townhouses are different from condos.
First you need to understand that the words townhouse and townhouse are interchangeable. They mean the same thing.
Townhouse communities are a great option for homebuyers who want to live in an urban area, but also want some peace and quiet.
They provide tight-knit communities that exist in quieter environments, making them a good middle ground between city and suburban living.
Let’s look at everything you need to know about townhouses, including the pros and cons.
What is a townhouse?
Townhouses are usually houses that share at least one wall with an adjacent property. They differ from condos in that a condominium is generally a single unit within a larger community.
Townhouses are a type of multi-story house that are attached to neighboring houses by one or two walls, but they can still have some architectural differences.
Townhouses are usually located on a small lot that does not extend very far beyond the actual property line.
Townhouses are often built as part of a gated community or neighborhood, making them an attractive option for people who want to live in a close-knit community setting without being in a busy metropolitan area.
As the pandemic has pushed more people to work from home, there is an increased demand for housing in suburban communities. Townhouses are generally what many buyers are looking for in a property.
Townhouses have seen steady growth in recent years, according to construction trends reported by the National Association of Home Builders.
What are the benefits of buying a townhouse?
Buying a townhouse has significant advantages. Let’s look.
Generally more affordable than single-family homes
Townhouses are generally less expensive to buy than traditional detached houses. They can be more affordable housing option for many beginners.
Homes in a townhouse neighborhood are smaller and sit on condensed lots, with little outdoor space. They also share walls with their neighbors. Upkeep tends to be cheaper because there isn’t as much upkeep.
There is an association and additional amenities
While some don’t like the idea of a homeowners association, most work to protect the property value of its members. When there is a HOA in place, there are often associated benefits. Some of the common things you’ll find with an HOA are clubs, pools, fitness center, tennis courts, or walking paths.
Many homeowners associations will also cover services such as snow removal and grass cutting.
Since you will be so close to your neighbors, a strong bond will often form. If you like the idea of seeing your neighbors every day, a townhouse could be a great housing choice.
Many townhouse communities host events, such as barbecues or seasonal celebrations, to help residents get to know each other and connect.
What are the disadvantages of buying a townhouse?
Of course, with most things there will also be downsides. Let’s look at the disadvantages of owning a townhouse.
A small house to live in
Usually, those who move to a townhouse community give away some of their square footage. If you choose a floor plan that isn’t open, you may feel even more cramped.
For large families or those with pets who need a place to run, townhouses can feel too crowded.
You might not like the rules
While some like the thought of an HOA, others find it overwhelming. If you don’t like the idea of a homeowner’s association telling you what you can and can’t do, a townhouse might not be appropriate.
For example, some HOAs may try to control the exterior appearance of your property. They can even limit your ability to furnish as you wish.
You will have less privacy
While the idea of having fun neighbors might be a nice thought, it might also come back to bite you. When you share walls with another person, they may have habits that you don’t like. Think of the child who likes to play the drums at ten o’clock at night.
You might also get sick of who lives next door. At that point, there is nothing more you can do about it.
Before committing to a townhouse, ask lots of questions and research the development. Make sure finances are sound and there are no upcoming special dues that will surprise you. It can be expensive hidden fees which will surprise you.