When it comes to owning real estate, most people focus on condos, apartments, and single-family homes. If you study the real estate market over the past decade, however, you’ll see that townhomes have made a significant comeback.
Old townhomes are getting revitalized, new ones are being built by the thousands, and everyone from young millennials to empty nesters are gobbling them up. Could they be an appropriate option for you?
The Case for Owning a Townhouse
Townhouse style has evolved considerably over the years, but they’re still much the same from a functional perspective. “Townhouses are a style of multi-floor home that share one to two walls with adjacent properties but have their own entrances,” Bankrate explains.
“In the suburbs, townhouses are often uniform homes built in a distinct community that might have its own homeowners association. Newer urban townhouses might also have a uniform look and an association, but older townhouses in cities tend to be more traditional rowhomes that can stretch for city blocks with less restrictive or no HOAs.”
Owning a townhouse admittedly isn’t for everyone. But there are plenty of advantages. They include:
1. Less Maintenance
For starters, there’s usually no yard. And when there is a yard, the HOA is typically responsible for maintaining it. That includes mowing the lawn, trimming shrubs, mulching beds, pulling weeds, etc.
Second, most townhomes are set up in such a way that the owner is only responsible for the drywall-in. The HOA is thereafter responsible for maintaining the exterior, which includes the siding, roof, soffits, and so on.
Less maintenance means lower monthly costs. But, perhaps most important, it means less time and stress for the owner.
No more spending your weekends raking leaves in the fall or fixing rotted window sills in the summer. Instead, you can devote your free time to doing the things you enjoy most.
2. More Amenities
Though not every townhome community has amenities, many do. They might consist of swimming pools, playgrounds, fitness centers, walking paths, clubhouses, tennis courts, BBQ pits, and green spaces.
In addition to common-area amenities such as these, you might also enjoy additional perks like pest control service, trash collection, and even annual inspections by service professionals.
3. Lower Holding Costs
Townhomes typically feature lower holding costs. These savings turn up in a variety of places, including taxes and insurance, as well as the aforementioned lower maintenance costs.
In many cases, townhome owners don’t have to carry traditional home insurance. Instead, they possess some form of condo/co-op insurance. This is less expensive and could save you several hundred to several thousand dollars a year.
Then there’s taxes. Because townhomes are typically smaller and sit on smaller lots, property taxes are often lower than they would be for a larger single-family home.
We already touched on maintenance, but it’s worth repeating. Research shows the average homeowner spends $100 to $200 per month on landscaping maintenance alone.
In terms of repairs and maintenance on a single-family home, conventional wisdom advises you to plan on one to three percent of the home’s value each year. (That amounts to $3,000 to $9,000 a year on a $300,000 home.) Every situation is unique, but you should do the math on how much you could save with a townhome versus a single-family house.
4. Greater Sense of Community
When you live on a large property that has substantial acreage, your neighbors may be few and far between. Even in most residential neighborhoods, you might not see your neighbors very often.
With a townhome, you’re in much closer proximity to other residents. This can encourage richer relationships, new friends, and a greater sense of community in your area.
6. Good Location
A single-family home with a large lot in the middle of a popular neighborhood might not be financially realistic for you and your family. Townhomes, however, are built up (rather than out).
This allows them to be constructed on smaller parcels of land, which lowers the cost and permits builders to place them in desirable areas that would otherwise be unaffordable for most families. By purchasing a townhome, you may get access to the most valuable facet of real estate: location.
The Downside of Townhouse Living
To assert that a townhouse would be the perfect solution for absolutely everyone would not be accurate. While the advantages are clear, there are also particular drawbacks to townhouse living. These include:
- Restrictions. HOAs are rarely fun – and townhome communities often shoulder even stricter rules and regulations than single-family-home communities. You may have to accede to everything from the color you paint your front door to the types of windows you install.
- Lack of privacy. When you share a wall with another family, and dozens or even hundreds of units are crammed into one plot, you’re going to have significantly less privacy than if you owned a detached home.
- Minimal outdoor living. For some people, the absence of a yard is a selling point in favor of owning a townhome. For others, it’s a negative. If you’re someone who has young kids and/or craves outdoor space for entertaining, a townhome isn’t apt to be the best option.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine whether townhouse living would be a net positive or negative for you and your family. If you think it’s something that could benefit you in this season of your life, go for it! There are plenty of options on the market today.
Green Residential: Houston’s Real Estate Expert
At Green Residential, we’re proud to boast of 40-plus years in the business. Over that time, we’ve cemented our name as one of the premier real estate experts in the entire industry.
Whether you’re looking to buy real estate, sell it, or require help managing a rental property, we’re here to assist you. Contact us today and we’d be happy to discuss your specific needs in greater detail!