If you’re looking at the housing market and aren’t fully convinced by a condo or an actual home, then a townhouse may be for you.
A townhouse is essentially the best of both worlds, and it’s defined by ownership. If you invest in a townhouse, you own everything on which your house is situated upon, including its external features. In a condo, this wouldn’t be the case.
Townhomes are usually multilevel residences that are attached to other residences in the street, and more than likely, there’s a Homeowners Association (HOA) regulating the appearance of the homes and the community itself. If you like peace of mind and uniformity, a townhouse may be the perfect option for you.
When looking to buy a home, whatever that home may look like (from a condo to a detached family house) it is important to note that what is best depends on what you’re looking for. We will discuss the benefits of owning a townhouse against other types of residences, and some fees associated with the process.
To begin, townhomes usually include monthly fees to pay to the HOA, to keep the area looking clean and regulated according to that particular HOA’s standards. This can offer you peace of mind because the association will take care of many maintenance costs for you, unlike a detached family home, where all maintenance responsibilities fall solely on the owner. Aside from this, you will not be responsible for your house’s external appearance, as this will be covered by the monthly HOA fee. If you hate mowing lawn or shoveling snow, this is a huge plus! This aside, when looking to invest in a townhouse, make sure your desires match up to what the HOA standards are.
A townhouse will offer you relief from taking care of common areas and yard maintenance, and you will have more privacy and space than in a condo, but there are other factors to take into consideration.
A major con of townhouses (though not always) is parking. Some townhouses may not offer parking garages and you may be subject to the parking your particular townhouse offers, which is often limited to one or two cars. Yet, this can vary largely to the community you look at, so if parking is a priority for you, make sure the area can accommodate your needs. To summarize, a townhouse will offer you more privacy than a condo but less overall control over your home than a detached house. Depending on what you’re looking for, this may be ideal.
An example of some of the financial responsibilities associated with townhome buying are HOA fees, and any special assessments that the Board of Directors make regarding the property.
This idea is further explored in our condo buying page, but to summarize, it’s important that you have a lawyer review the documents of your home before you sign them, to make sure everything is up to your standards. A good realtor will also help warn against bad management teams, and can help you avoid places with hidden fees and poor building upkeep.
The process of investing in a townhouse can be extremely confusing. To guide your process, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:
Don’t forget to take into consideration the amenities the community may offer! It is more than possible to find a townhouse that gives you what you want, while being free of so much responsibility a detached home may carry.