Living (affordably) in a townhouse
- A townhouse is a unique type of property that consists of two superimposed independent single-family houses.
- The respective owners access their properties through different entrances.
- At a generally affordable price, it allows occupants to enjoy the living environment of a landed property.
In Malaysia, a townhouse is often confused with an ordinary terraced house from the outside. However, it is in fact a unique type of property which consists of two superimposed independent individual houses.
(Choose your choice for a terrace house here.)
If you want to stay in a landed property but at the same time enjoy the conveniences offered in a condominium, then perhaps a townhouse could be your answer. This is where you can enjoy the best of both worlds – privacy and facilities!
A townhouse address can even get you your favorite spot and ideal neighborhood.
Sounds good, but what is a townhouse?
A house in town?
Yes, you’re right, but only if you’re referring to how the term was used in the 18th century. At the time, it literally referred to a “house” kept “in town” (London) by a wealthy landowner or nobleman.
While their primary residences were in the countryside, these families would bring their entire family to town for social gatherings, balls, and other events at different times of the year. Properties (townhouses) that were located in the city center would then house them comfortably under one roof. In other words, this type of house was a compact but spacious vacation home for these families.
Fast forward to now – in Malaysia, a townhouse is a multi-storey landed property, usually a three to four storey building divided into upper and lower units and owned by two different owners. Each will have a separate entrance or private entrance – usually through the lower unit’s main front door; and through the rear or side door with a staircase leading to the upper unit.
The upper and lower units are self-contained units that do not share any interior space. Each comes with its own bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen and living room. It is also possible that the respective occupants rarely meet, given that a townhouse is designed in this way!
However, some townhouses are designed with a common garden or porch.
For a townhouse with an address in the Klang Valley, click here.
Landed, but stratified
A townhouse is a unique residential development. It is land ownership that comes with a condominium title, which is more common for apartments, apartments and condominiums.
This type of property is typically built in a gated, guarded community with shared residential facilities that are part of a larger neighborhood development, such as a playground, pool, gym, or club access -house.
This also means owners are obligated to pay maintenance fees or sinking funds for the upkeep and maintenance of shared facilities, which is regulated by the Strata Management Act 2013. Although this appears to be an additional cost for the owner, note that a townhouse is relatively smaller and has fewer facilities than other high-rise strata properties. Therefore, the fees may be much lower.
Additionally, owners are not permitted to alter the layout or facade of the townhouse (this includes balconies, exterior windows and other exterior parts) without the approval of the management company. Bound by the Shared Development Agreement, there is also a limit to what the owner can renovate or alter within their properties.
Interested in buying a townhouse? Click here to find the right one for you!
Shared repair cost
Buying or renting a townhouse could be an affordable alternative for those who want land ownership, especially in the city, which is an expensive affair for many.
A townhouse is generally less expensive than a townhouse. Additionally, if there is a problem with the townhouse ownership, both owners are required to bear the cost of the repair – which is relatively good news since the cost is halved and shared!
So if you’re looking to live in a landed property with “condo” facilities in a tightly knit, low-density neighborhood, a townhouse might be a good option – whether for first-time buyers, singles, or those with families.
If you’re unsure whether living in a townhouse is right for you or your family, renting is always a good alternative.