Purchasing a home is a big decision — one that mustn’t be made hastily. It’s a big step in life and signals a certain sense of financial freedom. When choosing to buy a home, people often leave townhouses out of the equation. However, there are many advantages of townhouse living. In fact, by the end of this article, you may even think townhomes are better than single-family houses.
Thinking of moving to a townhouse? For first-time home buyers and empty-nesters alike, townhouse living provides the perfect alternative to owning a single-family home.
Townhomes, known for their unique architectural style, consist of an attached home with shared walls and multiple floors – typically, two to three stories. Townhouse residents usually share common spaces, such as a pool or driveway, with other neighbours.
Compared to living in a condo or an apartment, these occupants have more private space and private outdoor entrance. In general, a townhome also requires less upkeep than a single-family house, making them perfect for those looking to live a low maintenance lifestyle. Despite the many desirable features of these attached homes, moving to a townhouse can have its drawbacks.
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What Is A Townhouse?
Townhouses are multi-floor homes that share one to two walls with adjacent properties but have entrances. In the suburbs, townhouses are often uniform homes built in a distinct community with its own homeowners’ association.
Newer urban townhouses may also have a uniform look and an association. Still, older townhouses in cities tend to be more traditional rowhomes that can stretch for city blocks with less restrictive or no HOAs.
Townhouse Vs. Condo Vs. Apartment – What’s The Difference?
Though there’s some overlap among these housing types, condos are generally units in more significant buildings with multiple floors and multiple units on each floor. They are individually owned but may be rented to tenants. Apartments are strictly commercial rental units owned by a corporation, and everyone in the complex rents.
However, townhouses are often rented to tenants by the unit’s owners, depending on the community’s restrictions.
Townhouse vs Single-Family House
You’ve seen it multiple times across this article, but you may not know what it means. A single-family house is a residential building that doesn’t rely on another structure for support. In other words, it’s free-standing. Some people also refer to it as a single-detached house or a standalone house.
On the other hand, a townhouse or townhome is a residential building that shares one or more walls with other units of its kind. Though not mandatory, most townhouses usually sport a uniform look or design and consist of two or more floors.
Advantages of Townhouse Living
More often than not, when people consider residential options, they only think of single-family homes or apartments/condominiums. The thought of living in a townhouse doesn’t usually cross their minds. This could be attributed to several reasons. Some people dislike the idea of shared walls, while others prefer the image of detached homes.
There’s some stigma to townhome living, especially in certain circles. However, townhouses offer a lot of benefits that single-family homes typically don’t have. Let’s take a look at them below:
Family enjoying an autumn afternoon outdoors | townhouse living one of the most appealing advantages of townhouse living is not putting as much of an effort when it comes to maintenance. Landscaping becomes a breeze because the community association takes care of that.
You don’t have to worry about mowing your lawn or pulling out weeds every weekend. Spend your Saturdays relaxing after a week’s hard work and admiring the pristine condition of your front yard.
Some single-detached homes have pools, but that comes with a heavy burden. Owners living in those homes are responsible for maintaining and cleaning their pools — a particularly unenjoyable experience, especially during certain seasons. With a townhome, you get rid of that problem. Townhome residents have a shared community pool that magically stays in tip-top shape thanks to the community HOA. All other communal facilities follow this pattern, as well.
When you live in a townhouse, you get all the functionality and zero responsibility for maintaining it. If you want a place of your own but do not want to play an active part in the upkeep, a townhouse is your best bet.
Stair in the blue swimming pool background | townhouse livingThere’s an apparent reason why many people frequent resorts: the amenities. From giant pools to impressive gyms, resorts provide you with recreational facilities to not have to venture far to find them. In this way, townhomes are very similar to resorts.
Townhouses come with an extensive array of communal amenities. Are you feeling hot on a summer’s day? Head to the pool to cool down. Are you looking to shape up? The fitness centre shouldn’t be too far. Other amenities can include BBQ pits, clubhouses, playgrounds, dog parks, tennis courts, and even car washing stations.
Additionally, the HOA takes care of maintenance and upkeep. Picnic areas and clubhouses can also be reserved to entertain guests for parties. The best part is, you can avail yourself of these amenities throughout the year.
However, the benefits of townhome living go beyond recreational amenities. Utilities like pest control, trash services, and HVAC inspections also typically come with the deal. Though your HOA community-based property has assessment fees, these fees are worth every penny considering the amenities you get in addition to a lovely place for yourself.
Value for Money
Gold piggy bank inside wooden house model | benefits of townhome living contrary to what some may believe, townhouses provide excellent value for money. In the same neighbourhood, townhomes are more affordable than single-family homes. They are a cheaper option almost every time in comparison to standalone dwellings.
Furthermore, you don’t have to pay staggering property taxes when you live in a townhome. Due to the smaller lot size, townhome residents pay lower property taxes than those in conventional homes. Homeowners association fees also tend to be lower when compared to condos. At MJS Construction Group, we offer a wide range of duplex build.
Owning a townhome is the same as owning a single-detached house. You can either finance the home or pay upfront in cash. Plus, you still own the piece of land the townhouse is built on. The selling process is pretty much the same as well. You can sell it on your own or with the help of a realtor. However, you must abide by the protocol set by HOA community guidelines and bylaws.
Sense of Community
A defining feature of townhome living is the sense of community and camaraderie one experiences. Townhomes generally have shared walls, which means residents live close to one another. When you’re that close, it’s hard to go on with daily life without even learning your neighbor’s name.
When you live in a single-detached house, you tend to be more isolated. You may know your next-door neighbour or say hi to the family living across from you, but it’s hard to form a real community with this setup. With townhouses, you have several people living within a short distance from you. Plus, you see them in communal spaces and events as well. Living in such a way almost guarantees a feeling of kinship between and among neighbours.
A row of colourful, red, yellow, blue, white, green painted residential townhouses | townhouse vs single-family house when it comes to real estate, everyone knows that location is vital. it’sIt’s one of the things buyers prioritize the most when they hunt for new homes. Luckily, townhomes check this box, too.
More often than not, townhouses sit in dense and convenient locations. These developments are usually situated near vibrant establishments, offering ample choices for entertainment, dining, and shopping. Some townhomes can also be within walking distance to schools and parks. In this way, townhouse living suits virtually everyone — childless or otherwise.
Perhaps one of the most alluring advantages of townhouse living is the added security. Single-detached houses often rely on fences and security systems to ward away potential intruders. However, with townhomes, you get a little bonus in the form of a security gate. While not all townhomes have this feature, some do. If a security gate is an extra you need, look for a townhome community that has it.
Additionally, townhome communities are typically well-lit, which means you don’t have to worry about walking the streets at night. Neighbours also tend to look out for one another, and this protectiveness can be reassuring. In today’s world, splurging a little more for added security is almost common sense.
Great Option for Seniors
Smiling senior man and woman | advantages of townhouse you happen to be a retiree or a senior citizen, living in a townhome is a great way to enjoy freedom without the added baggage of extra maintenance. HOA communities provide a great sense of community which is crucial at this age.
The social events are fun and provide you with an opportunity to make new friends. Additionally, you can look for communities specifically designed for elders, which will help you settle in no time.
No Worrying Over External Home Improvement
Typically, townhouses are managed by property management companies. Therefore, the exterior upkeep of your house is also taken care of by the HOA. If you think your home needs a paint job or some external fixtures need replacement, the management has got you covered.
The process of application can be found in the bylaws of the community. Usually, though, a formal application needs to be put forth. However, you can rest assured that the job is generally done quickly and without much hassle.
Things to Consider Before the Relocation
Generally speaking, townhouses tend to be more affordable than single-family homes. According to Money Crashers, an attached townhome “could cost tens of thousands of dollars less than an equivalently sized single-family unit.” Since many townhouses are newer and receive a good amount of upkeep, they are also more likely to be updated than an older single-family home that costs the same but requires an overhaul.
This lower price point makes them especially appealing to young couples and singles looking for a smart, first-time home purchase. However, those moving to a townhome should strongly consider any HOA (Homeowners’ Association) fees attached to their new community. Many communities require residents to pay hefty monthly dues to cover any structural insurance needed, as well as landscaping and maintenance needs. While neighbourhood association fees can be expensive, they can also save homeowners from managing the upkeep of their house and community amenities, such as a pool, garden or gym. So make sure to take these HOA fees into account, along with your mortgage payment, when considering a townhouse move.
I won’t lie to you: moving to a townhouse isn’t going to be easy. As someone who has moved to several townhomes in their life, I can attest that lifting a couch three flights of stairs was no walk in the park. You’re going to need help. That means either enlisting friends or hiring a professional moving company to do the heavy lifting.
Additionally, if the stairwells are narrow, you could run into trouble hoisting clunkier furniture and mattresses up the stairs without hitting the railings or scratching up your walls. Another thing to consider when moving to a townhome is your moving truck’s parking situation. Whether it’s street parking or a shared driveway, you’ll need to contact your HOA before the move to ask about the most appropriate place to park when moving.
On the bright side, with townhouses located so close together, you’re sure to meet and greet some of your curious neighbours on moving day!
One advantage to living in a townhouse is that you’ll more than likely enjoy living in a vibrant area. In general, townhomes tend to be located in large cities and urban areas, where single-family homes are more expensive or non-existent. This means a townhouse’s location is ideal for those who love living near urban centres, great restaurants, a slew of entertainment options, parks, and public transportation. Those seeking a home with big-city amenities without the price tag of a detached house or the inconveniences of a high-rise will find what they’re looking for in a townhouse community.
For some, a townhouse’s lack of privacy can be a significant deterrent. While some townhomes offer private balconies or patios, you won’t find many that provide a private outdoor yard. Townhouses that do have small backyards lack absolute privacy, as other townhomes and neighbours tower over the outdoor space. Proximity to neighbours can also be a concern for townhouse occupants. Given that you’re sharing a wall with your neighbours, you’re sure to see (and possibly hear) them throughout the day.
Are you looking for convenience? You’ll find it in a townhouse. These attached homes tend to be located within walking distance to everyday amenities, such as restaurants, markets, coffee shops and parks. Living in a townhome also means not having to mow the lawn, clean the pool, resurface the driveway or landscape the yard. That’s because your HOA will take care of it for you. After all, you’re paying them for a reason! Many HOA fees will also cover your insurance and general maintenance needs, such as exterior painting, structural issues and possible storm damage. HOA’s may cost a pretty penny, but it’s a small price to pay for the added convenience for many.
Finally, the community’s rules and restrictions are one of the most important considerations to make before moving to a townhouse. For better or worse, many HOA’s come with a long list of what you can and cannot do while living in your townhouse. From the pool hours to any changes made to your home’s exterior, your HOA should provide you with a list of dos and don’ts before you move.
Common townhouse HOA rules include:
- No alterations or additions to the exterior of the home.
- No hanging towels on the home’s patio.
- No loud or boisterous noises on the property.
- No parking in some restricted regions. In many cases, an HOA will allow street parking with a decal on the car. They may also have a designated spot for movers to park their moving truck.
- No pets. An HOA will often either restrict pets altogether, limit the number of pets you can have, set restrictions on the type of pet allowed, or set a weight limit for the pet.
Every townhouse community’s rules and regulations are different, however. So make sure to read up on your neighbourhood association’s handbook carefully before relocating to your townhome. To find the right professional moving company for your next townhouse move. Good luck and happy moving!
Who Is Townhouse Buying Best For?
First-time homebuyers living in densely populated metro markets may find townhouses an excellent and affordable option, says Yun.
They can also be a solid choice for anyone interested in a low maintenance lifestyle who wants a lock-and-leave property, notes Simmons.
Overall, if you don’t want the exterior maintenance that comes with homeownership, but you would still like the equity, and wealth-building aspects of owning a home, buying a townhouse in an HOA is worth consideration.
Is Owning A Townhouse Right For You?
Townhouses are an excellent option for first-time homebuyers or anyone looking for an affordable home that’s easy to maintain. As a resident of a townhome community, you have access to amenities and services that you wouldn’t have in a single-family neighbourhood, plus you have a stronger sense of community and security.
As incredible as owning a townhouse might be, it’s not for everyone. If you value individuality and freedom to do whatever you want with your property, townhome communities typically have an HOA with rules that all residents have to follow. Check out our range of dual occupancy builder for your dream house.
Everyone has their idea of the perfect home. Some people prefer to have a single-family home where they have privacy and can do what they want with their property. Some people don’t mind being close to their neighbours because they enjoy being active member of a close-knit community and have access to a variety of amenities and services.
Whatever type of home you decide is right for you, the one thing that should matter to you is if you can see yourself and your family being happy there. After all, home is where the heart is — regardless of the type of structure!