What Is A Townhouse and Should You Buy One?
Land in popular neighborhoods is at a premium in most cities, which has made townhouses more and more popular. They can be an attractive option for many new homeowners, who see them as a middle ground between single-family homes and condominiums. A townhouse gives the feel of a family home in a prime, urban setting.
What Is A Townhouse?
A townhouse usually has it’s own front and back entrance is multiple stories and will have one or two communal walls. They’re common in urban areas, but townhomes can vary widely by city and region. In a densely populated area, whole rows of townhomes are common, but they can also be free-standing.
There is no exact definition of a townhouse. Some townhomes have a homeowners association (HOA), like a condo. When viewing a townhouse, ask about the HOA and what they do. The HOA will usually cover some of the maintenance costs of the grounds and any shared areas, but this does mean you give up some level of control. Even if you only share one wall with another townhouse, you have to share some responsibility and costs with the other owner.
Many homeowners who want to live in urban centers look for a townhouse as a balance between affordability and privacy. A single-family home is usually larger and will come with a yard, but these can hard to find and will be very expensive in cities. Condos are also a popular option, but they do have some key differences.
Townhouse Vs Condo
Condos and townhouses have a few things in common. Both offer you some ownership over the property, but you’re not responsible for every single aspect of the residence, such as trash collection for example.
The main difference between a townhouse and a condo is that the owner of a condo only owns the interior of the unit. The HOA that owns the complex owns the exterior unit, and any outside space, and communal areas. With a townhouse, you own both the interior, exterior, and any lawn. This means that any home insurance rates are usually lower for those who own condos, as they own less.
Townhouses are a little bit less flexible in terms of their appearance. Townhouses are almost always built in rows, and each individual unit is usually multiple stories tall. Condos, however, can vary a lot more wildly in style and layout. Condos could be ranch-style, cottages, or in an apartment building.
Homeowners Association fees and maintenance fees are usually higher for condos than they are for townhouses. This is because condo owners usually have more access to different services and amenities, such as community spaces like pools or a gold course, or services like lawn care. Townhomes do sometimes have access to things like this, but it’s less common, so fees are generally lower.
If you think you might want to buy a townhouse, talk to a realtor and mortgage professional to be sure you know all the details and obligations of the property. You should also consult a financial advisor about how this investment will align with your short-term and long-term goals.