The "white picket fence" house with a large backyard is no longer the "great Australian dream" in the nation's capital cities, according to the most recent Census data, which shows that more Australians are opting to live in higher-density housing such as townhouses and apartments. Instead, the "great Australian dream" is shifting toward a home with a smaller footprint and more communal space.
It is anticipated that in the coming years, a growing number of Australians will choose to purchase a townhouse or apartment rather than a house due to factors including affordability, changes in lifestyle, and demographic shifts.
Those who want the convenience of a "lock-up and leave" lifestyle and the low maintenance that apartments provide, but also want more space than they would get in an apartment can find it in a townhouse. They are gaining popularity among young families, single professionals, and people who are downsizing from larger homes.
This townhouse buyers guide was compiled for the purpose of assisting investors who are weighing the advantages of purchasing a townhouse as opposed to a house or apartment, or who are interested in learning the most important considerations to keep in mind when buying a new townhouse.
What Is A Townhouse?
At its most fundamental, a townhouse is a multistory dwelling that has at least one wall that extends from the ground to the roof in common with an adjacent house. However, that could refer to a few distinct types of attached single-family homes, which means that we will need to dissect it a little bit further.
Even though they are connected, townhouses have their own separate entrances and are owned independently. Multiple dwelling units in a multifamily home that is laid out side-by-side, as in a duplex, share either the entrance, the basement, or another area.
Townhouse owners own the land on which their townhomes sit and are typically responsible for the exteriors of their homes, whereas condo owners only own the interior of their units. Although a development with multiple groups of townhouses may look like a condominium complex, townhouse owners actually own both the land and their homes. Your dream home can become a reality when you work with MJS Construction Group, because we offer the finest selection of dual occupancy options.
One variety of townhouse is known as a rowhouse, and it gets its name from the fact that the individual homes are constructed in a row. They almost always have the same roofline, which they may or may not have in common with one another in terms of the building material or architectural style.
In expensive cities, rowhouses have frequently been subdivided into multiple apartments for rent. But even when they are single-family homes, the owners of those homes typically only share walls with one another.
In contrast, townhouses in suburban areas can have the appearance of sprawling condominium developments, complete with private streets and shared areas such as pools and playgrounds. In addition, these townhouse developments are typically managed in the same manner as condo complexes, with townhouse owners paying monthly dues to the homeowners association that serves the development.
Frequently Asked Questions
Townhouse. A townhouse is like a house in that the owner owns both the structure and the land on which it sits; but it is not free-standing, so "the land on which it sits" is limited to the front and back yards. Townhouses are connected to one another in a row, and are usually two or three stories tall.
A condominium, like an apartment, is an individual unit that is located within a building or community of buildings. However, unlike an apartment, a condominium is owned individually. Condominiums, on the other hand, are owned by their occupants as opposed to being rented from a landlord like apartments are. A townhouse is a type of attached home that is also owned by the person who lives there.
The main difference between a townhouse and an apartment is its structural management and organization. Townhouses are free-standing and give the impression of being a traditional house. An apartment is a unit in a larger building that encompasses a community all inside the same walls.
The building of townhomes has experienced a boom in the recent year or so. The most recent data suggests that townhome construction now accounts for close to 13 percent of all starts for single-family homes. Furthermore, townhome construction has seen a rise of 38 percent in just one year. If you ask the vast majority of industry professionals, they will tell you that this pattern will only deepen as 2022 progresses.
The term "townhouse" has its roots in early England, where it referred to a dwelling that a family (typically royalty) kept "in town" (meaning London) even though their primary residence was located in the countryside.
Why Buy A Townhouse?
Townhouses are an important part of the residential housing market when they are situated in the appropriate locations. Apartments are typically located in the areas of a community that are planned out the best, making them the most convenient for access to a variety of amenities. Houses are typically located further out, on the more peaceful, private streets, and townhouses are used to fill the space in between single-family homes.
Townhouses are frequently the housing type of choice for new developments in the middle ring suburbs (10-20 kilometers outside of the city center). This is due to the fact that free-standing new houses can be prohibitively expensive, and apartments are not suitable for the local area. A more robust demand exists for properties that are located in extremely close proximity to retail establishments, public transportation, and educational institutions.
Townhouses are becoming increasingly popular in outer-ring suburbs and "greenfield" developments, which are located at a distance of 20 kilometers or more from the city center. Townhouses offer a more affordable entry price than house and land packages. The majority of the time, parks, schools, and shopping centers are built right next to them in master-planned house and land estates.
The purchase price of a townhouse, on average, is much lower than that of an already-built home or a house-and-land package. This is because townhouses are more compact.
When doing price comparisons, it is critical to ensure that you are comparing apples to apples. New investors frequently make the mistake of equating the cost of two entirely distinct properties, such as an existing house in a suburb with the cost of a brand new townhouse.
When looking at the price of a new townhouse in an established neighborhood, investors need to know what the cost of new housing is in that area so that they can compare it to the price of the townhouse.
In many cases, the only way to acquire a brand new house is to purchase an older one, have it demolished, and then construct a new one; when compared to a newly built townhouse, it is easy to see how much more affordable the former option is. When looking at townhouses within a master-planned estate, the pricing can often appear very similar to the entry-level pricing of a house and land package. This is because both types of properties fall under the category of "master-planned estates." However, prospective buyers should be wary because the price that is advertised for house and land packages may not always include everything that is promised. To bring the house up to the "turn-key standard," which requires additional spending of money, you will need to update things like the landscaping, driveway, and fencing.
Strong rental yields
It varies from market to market, but generally speaking, a well-built townhouse that is situated in a desirable area will see more robust rental yields than houses that are located in the same general area. As an alternative to free-standing houses, townhouses can be an attractive choice for investors who are interested in generating cash flow from their portfolio of properties.
Factors To Consider When Buying Your Dream Home
The features you've always wanted.
I am delighted to hear that you have been successful in your search for the house of your dreams. You deserve it. It is essential to approach this purchase with a different frame of mind in order to be successful. In the past, you probably looked for a home that was suitable for your requirements, such as one that provided an easy commute to work or a sufficient number of bedrooms for your entire family. If so, you probably found a home that met all of these requirements.
This is a unique circumstance. The idea of a "dream home" places a greater emphasis on the fulfillment of aspirations than it does on the accomplishment of practical objectives. You should not be afraid to make a long list of things you want to buy for yourself. Everyone has their own individual wish list of things that they desire. Some people may daydream about waking up every morning to watch the sun rise over a lake, while others may hope to have picturesque snow-capped mountains as their backdrop. Both of these scenarios can be found in some people's fantasies. Your significant other may feel more at ease in the privacy and quiet of a single-family home, even though the concept of having a community fitness center just a few steps away may appeal to you.
The neighbourhood and surrounding area
Keep in mind that the location of your property does not exist in a vacuum. It's a small slice of a much bigger community that you'll be a part of on a daily basis. Keeping this in mind, prior to making a purchase, you should look for a neighborhood that meets your requirements. Is the ideal getaway one that provides you with the tranquility of a remote forest or the boundless energy of a crowded city center? Do you want to be able to walk to a coffee shop every morning, or would you rather not have to deal with potentially noisy neighbors? Is one of these things more important to you than the other? Before beginning your search for whatever it is that your heart desires, don't be afraid to first conduct some research.
If you have the opportunity, drive there and spend some time there. Eat at one of the area's restaurants and then stroll through one of the area's parks afterward. Notify your real estate agent as soon as you locate areas that appeal to you once you have done so. With the help of this information, he or she will concentrate on demonstrating things that will make you feel at ease.
Lot location and size
When purchasing a piece of real estate, the lot is frequently an afterthought, but it really ought to be at the forefront of buyers' minds. It is the one aspect of a piece of property that cannot be changed in any way. Consider the following: You could demolish an existing house and start from scratch when constructing a new one, but the lot itself would remain the same.
Before making an offer on a particular property, it is important to give careful consideration to both the location and the size of the lot. Do you wish you had a backyard that was large enough for your children to run around in? Does the lot offer a view that you believe you will be able to take pleasure in for many years to come?
You shouldn't feel obligated to stay if there is anything about the property that makes you think it's a bad deal. It will be much simpler to find a property that is comparable but situated on a better lot than it will be to perpetually make do with a location that is less than adequate day in and day out.
The age of a property
There is a correlation between one's age and their ability to purchase a home, particularly the home that they have been dreaming about their entire lives. Before putting in an offer, it is important to have a clear understanding of what you'll be getting into because purchasing an older home as well as a brand new one each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Do you find yourself swooning over the irreplaceable charm that older homes offer? Would you be able to fall in love with a house if it revealed that it had a built-in dumbwaiter and a hidden staircase for the servants? In that case, you should focus your search on those historical gems that are still in the process of being polished. Be mindful, however, that older houses, on average, call for somewhat more tender loving care than their more modern equivalents do.
Alternately, does the only activity required to maintain your ideal home consist of turning the key in the lock of the front door? Do you fantasize about having a master bathroom that looks and feels like a luxury spa and a walk-in closet that is large enough to accommodate your extensive wardrobe? In this scenario, new construction is likely to be the most suitable option. If you are able to get in on the ground floor, you will have a better chance of being able to select specific features while the house is being built so that it can be further customized to your preferences.
Your ideal home style
Whether it's a way of life or the actual aesthetic of your property, you want to make sure that your home is one that you'll feel proud to pull up to each day. Because the way a home looks is one of the first things that you (and others) notice about a property, finding a home style that fits your personality is extremely important.
Single-family homes are an excellent option for individuals who want the liberty to personalize a home according to its exact requirements and preferences. People who want to own their own home but also have access to amenities similar to those found in hotels should consider living in a condo. Living in a townhome offers a compromise between the two options, but because each association is unique, it is important to familiarize yourself with the guidelines that are specific to each community.
After you have determined the mode of living that most appeals to you, you should concentrate on its aesthetic. The difference between a single Victorian property and a contemporary and understated condo community is like night and day. Consider the various styles of homes you pass throughout the day as you go about your activities. Make a note of the styles that you could see yourself calling home as well as the ones that are a total turnoff for you. Finding the best home builders in Melbourne is an important decision that must be made. At MJS Construction Group, we have a wide variety of the very best home design constructions for you to look through.
The right amount of space
Finding your dream home can be challenging, but the first step is to determine how much space you actually require in a home. If you buy a house that is too small for your family, you will spend a lot of time trying to alter the layout of the space so that it meets your needs. In a similar vein, purchasing an excessively large property will grant you the ability to spread out, but it will also result in high costs.
Consider the room that you are presently occupying as your home. How does it feel? Do you have enough bedrooms, or do members of your family have to take turns sleeping in the guest room? Is there sufficient space for all of your possessions to be stored?
You should give some thought to the things you have planned for the future in addition to giving some thought to the living situation you are in right now. If you think you might be adding a new member to your family in the near future, you should make arrangements for some additional space. You should strive for a happy medium that allows for some room for growth without placing undue pressure on yourself.
A layout you love
It's important to keep in mind that not all square footage is created equal, which is why the floor plan is so important. If you take a look at two homes that each have 2,000 square feet, you'll notice that one of them could devote the majority of the space to the living area, while the other could concentrate on providing bedrooms that are larger.
Although it is possible to redesign your floor plan after moving into the home, doing so is a time-consuming process that requires a significant financial investment as well as a significant commitment of your time. It is a project that, unless you are particularly handy, will require you to hire a team of contractors to help you complete it.
Make it a priority to zero in on a configuration that comes as close to satisfying all of your requirements as is humanly possible. As you explore the property, try to visualise yourself making use of the various areas. Consider the experiences you would like to have during the time you spend living in your ideal house. If you are the proud host of the annual family holiday party, you should think about getting a floor plan with an open concept that will give your guests plenty of space to move around in. On the other hand, if every member of your family takes great pride in the fact that they have their own personal space, a floor plan that is more conventional might be the optimal choice.
The potential for future projects
Even if you get the house of your dreams, it's going to need some personal touches here and there, as it should. Whether you've spent years wishing for a kitchen fit for a chef, a backyard oasis complete with a pool, or a media room with all the bells and whistles, it's unlikely that those features will be exactly to your specifications the moment you sign the deed on the property.
Keep an eye out for the extent to which each property you look at will require you to make customizations. Be truthful with yourself about the amount of that work that you will be able to handle, even if it will be accomplished slowly over the course of time. If you have experience working with power tools, check that you are comfortable with the amount of time that will need to be invested. You should be prepared to set aside a sizeable sum of money if you would rather have a trained expert complete the task for you. Consider undertaking both big and little projects, such as redecorating your dining room or tearing out and replacing everything in your master bathroom.
What Does An Excellent Townhouse Look Like?
The most desirable characteristics of a townhouse are high levels of natural light, spaciousness, and contemporary design. The location is extremely important, and all of life's necessities should be within walking distance. You should look for a townhouse that is only a short walk away from everything a potential tenant might need, such as good local retail, options for public transportation, and local parks, if you want to see strong growth in your investment and attract tenants.
A well-designed townhouse makes the most of the available natural light in terms of its interior design. Even though they may have neighbors on two sides and have windows only at the front and back, this does not mean that they have to be dim and depressing places to live. A well-designed townhouse is considerate of both its orientation and its neighbors, and it makes use of floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and skylights in order to bring in natural light from a variety of directions.
Even though they are considerably smaller than houses, townhomes should in no way give the impression of being crowded or lack adequate storage space. It should be easy to move between the living area and the dining area, and there should be plenty of storage space. Check the floorplan of the townhouse you want to buy to make sure it has built-in closets, large pantries, and plenty of storage space that is suitable for storing bicycles and other sports equipment.
A checklist for choosing the best townhouse investment
- Close proximity to neighborhood shops and restaurants, as well as parks, schools, and public transportation links
- The layout is accommodating for a variety of household configurations, such as those with fewer members, families, or young professionals.
- Both the living areas and the bedrooms receive an abundance of natural light as a result of the design.
- There is a lot of storage space available throughout the house, including built-in robes, linen closets, and even storage space in the garage.
- What kinds of common facilities are included in the development, and how will those facilities affect the value and desirability of the property for owner-occupants and renters alike?
- Your requirements for real estate investment determine whether you should buy a strata, community, or freehold property.
Who Do Townhouses Appeal To?
In close proximity, you'll find shopping and retail establishments, parks, schools, and public transportation links.
Downsizers, families, and young professionals are among the types of residents who will find the floorplan to their liking.
The layout of the building lets in a good deal of natural light to the living areas as well as the bedrooms.
There is an abundance of storage space available throughout the home, including built-in robes, linen closets, and storage space within the garage.
What kinds of shared amenities are included in the development, and how will those amenities affect the value and desirability of the properties, whether they are rented or owned?
Your requirements for a property investment match the type of title, whether it be a strata, community, or freehold.
Who Is Townhouse Buying Best For?
According to Yun, first-time homebuyers who reside in highly populated metropolitan areas may find townhouses to be an ideal and reasonably priced housing option.
According to Simmons, they are also a good option for people who want a property that they can simply lock up and leave if they are interested in leading a low-maintenance lifestyle.
Overall, purchasing a townhouse that is part of a HOA is something to give some thought to if you don't want the exterior maintenance that comes with homeownership but you still want the equity and wealth-building aspects of owning a home.