Townhouses are a great option when you plan to buy a house, though it is understandable if you’re unsure about what a townhouse really is. If you live in area where townhouses are available, know all you can about them before making a decision. You can also talk with your real estate expert about it.
What to Know about Townhouses when You Want to Buy
In a nutshell, a townhouse is a real estate property that is divided into multiple units. Each unit has at least two stories and comes with an outdoor space, such as a yard. Townhouse units also sit side by side, with common walls separating one from another. Moreover, townhouses have homeowners associations, much like condominiums and apartments.
Now, what makes townhouses different from condominiums and apartments?
How Townhouses Compare to Other Residential Properties
Comparison of Townhouses and Condominiums
Townhouses, like condos, can offer units to both renters and buyers. They also have their own homeowners associations that manage their communities, and can include garages and private outdoor spaces.
However, the layout and number of stories can be vastly different. Condos rarely have more than two stories, but townhouses can have as many as four to six, excluding the basement or attic. This is because townhouses have a narrow, longer layouts compared to condos.
Comparison of Townhouses from Apartments
While both can be rented, there are a lot of differences. Apartments can be the smallest residential property, and therefore are never as big as a multi-story townhouse. Apartments also don’t sit side by side in a row, but are stacked within one building.
Also, townhouses are usually run by developers, whereas apartments are commonly owned by landlords. A townhouse is also a better place for an established or growing family because of the amount of space offered.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Townhouse Unit
Now, here are additional pros and cons of buying a townhouse. This will help you make the right choice when planning to buy the right property for you.
Pros of Buying a Townhouse Unit
- First, townhouses (depending on the area) can be far more affordable than many home options.
- They have less maintenance costs because an HOA will take care of most exterior upkeep.
- Townhouses often have accessible amenities within the premises of the property. Think of a swimming pool, a tennis court, and a gym, among others.
- You’ll likely get an extra outdoor space too. Think of having a mini yard or lawn that you own. If a HOA manages your townhouse, you don’t need to worry about the upkeep of such a space.
Cons of Buying a Townhouse Unit
- Ask homeowners in a set row of townhouses what they think about the HOA before buying in. You’ll want to avoid any HOA’s that over scrutinize or have unreasonable asking of fees.
- There are common walls that separate units. Although some walls will do a great job of blocking out noise, some townhouses might not have great sound protection.
- Most townhouse units aren’t fit for families or the elderly because of the many staircases. A townhouse is likely not to be a forever home.
Essential Factors to Consider when Buying a Townhouse Unit
Still interested in townhouses? Before picking a unit, be sure that you’re keeping these vital factors in mind:
Prepare a Realistic Budget
Modern townhouses are popular because of being in the 100k – 200k range, but different factors can still pump up its price, such as proximity to the city center, available amenities, and features of the unit, among other points.
Most HOAs impose charges to unit owners in a townhouse, such as maintenance and security fees. Others also charge for special assessments that you need to pay on or after closing. Make sure you know what the cost of these will be ahead of time.
Unit\Specifications and Features
Of course, you must only buy a townhouse unit that fits your household’s needs and taste.
Begin by considering the location of the townhouse. It should be accessible enough to your workplace or school, as well as to other necessary establishments. Then, consider the neighborhood of the area, and make sure you’d love to live in that locale. Feel free to consider your preferences and leisure activities too, such as choosing a townhouse with a swimming pool, tennis court or dreamy private yard space.
Also, if you have an elderly family member, make sure they can meet their needs on the ground or second floor.
No Bad Neighbors
Again, units in a townhouse are only divided by common walls, meaning you’re likely to suffer if you have noisy next-door neighbors. Observe the behaviors of the people living next to the unit during your walk through and ask how well the walls are insulated. You can also ask your real estate agent about the history of the property.
Good Homeowners Association and Fair HOA Rules
This is one of the biggest make or break points when buying a townhouse. You need to know about the rules and regulations HOA’s impose, and whether you are able to live comfortably or reasonably within them. Talk about this with the previous homeowner and ask for their honest opinion about the attitude and management skills of the HOA board members.
Also, do not forget to carefully read the real estate contract before signing. This is a great way to identify all regulations that an HOA imposes in its place.
Find the Best Townhouse Unit when You Want to Buy a House!
If you think a townhouse fits your household well, find the best unit for you to purchase today. Be sure to consider all the factors above and do not forget to consult with a reliable agent today.
Featured photo by Aman Kumar on Unsplash
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