A row of modern townhomes

The Ultimate Townhouse Guide 

For those in the market for a new home, townhouses present several benefits that may appeal to many potential buyers. These types of homes offer a variety of convenient features. If you have clients interested in this type of home, you want to make sure they understand the pros and cons of buying a townhouse so they can make the best possible decision.

What Is a Townhouse?

The word “townhouse” usually applies to a style of multi-floor home that shares one or two walls with adjacent properties. Townhouses often have separate entrances and private outdoor spaces and may be governed by a homeowner’s association. They are typically “middle ground” between a single-family home and an apartment.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Townhouse

As a real estate agent, your clients will look to you for guidance when choosing a place to live. If they have never owned a townhome, they may need help understanding the benefits and drawbacks of this style of living.

Advantages of owning a townhouse

Buyers are often drawn to townhomes because of price and location. Here’s additional guidance on why clients are happy living in townhomes.

1. Affordability

Townhouses often cost less than single-family homes of similar size and location, making them a more affordable option for homebuyers.

2. Space

Townhomes typically offer more indoor space than apartments or condos. They are generally designed to maximize space efficiency, with layouts that often include open-concept living areas, well-utilized vertical space, and functional room arrangements.

Additionally, townhomes often have yards or patio areas and provide outdoor space for gardening, relaxation, or entertaining.

3. Community

Living in a townhouse community often fosters a sense of belonging and community spirit, with opportunities for social interactions and shared events among residents. In addition, many townhome developments offer amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centers, playgrounds, and walking trails that foster a sense of community and make it easier to meet other residents.

4. Low maintenance

While owners are typically responsible for interior maintenance tasks involving plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems, townhomes require less maintenance than single-family homes. For example, many townhome communities take care of landscaping, lawn care, snow removal, and maintenance of common areas. Some maintenance tasks, such as roof repairs, exterior painting, and driveway maintenance, may be shared among homeowners or managed by the HOA.

5. Security

Living in close proximity to neighbors in a townhouse community can provide an added sense of security for many residents.

Disadvantages of owning a townhouse

That “close proximity to neighbors” that was listed as an advantage to townhome living can also be considered a disadvantage. Here are some additional drawbacks to living in a townhouse community.

1. Lack of privacy

Townhomes share walls with neighboring units, which can lead to noise disturbances (and lack of privacy) if the walls are not well insulated. Even though you can’t often choose your neighbors in any living situation, the issue is compounded when you live in a townhome.

2. HOA fees

Many townhome communities are governed by HOAs, which charge fees for maintenance, amenities, and other services. These fees can add to the overall cost of living in a townhome.

3. Limited customization

Townhomes have limited exterior customization options compared to single-family homes. Because of the shared walls, you have less flexibility to make structural changes to your property.

4. Limited outdoor space

Townhomes typically have smaller outdoor areas compared to single-family homes. This can be a downside if you enjoy gardening or outdoor entertaining.

5. Restrictions

When you live in a townhome community, you sign an agreement that you will abide by the rules and regulations set by your HOA. These rules can dictate aspects of daily living, such as exterior appearances, parking, and use of common areas.

What To Consider Before Buying a Townhouse

Before buying a townhouse, there are several important factors your client must consider to ensure it aligns with their lifestyle, preferences, and financial goals. Here are five key factors to consider.

1. Location

Location is everything. Your client should evaluate the townhouse’s location in relation to shopping centers, healthcare facilities, public transportation, schools, and recreational areas. Of course, they should also research the neighborhood and community and consider factors such as noise levels, safety, cleanliness, property values, future development plans, and the overall vibe of the area.

2. Floor plan

Your client should consider the size and layout of the townhome to ensure it meets their needs. Besides paying attention to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, consider how much storage space the townhome has. This may be especially important if your client is downsizing from a larger home.

3. Affordability

Your client may need to be reminded that they need to consider other expenses that come with townhome ownership in addition to the cost of the property. Townhome owners must pay property taxes, insurance, and HOA fees – as well as the cost of maintaining the interior structure.

4. HOA Regulations

While some people are happy to live in highly regulated communities, others do not appreciate restrictions. Your client should read the HOA regulations to understand the rules – and what types of maintenance services are provided.

5. Amenities

Townhome communities typically offer a wide range of amenities. Such amenities may include a pool, fitness center, clubhouse, playground, dog park, and picnic area. Some townhome communities are gated or have security patrols.

As a real estate agent, you are responsible for guiding your clients through the buying process. It’s essential that you understand all the available options in your community – and the pros and cons of each one. Depend on Colibri Real Estate to help guide you to be the best real estate agent you can be. Colibri can help you earn (or maintain) your real estate license, and our Career Hub will help you stay current in an ever-evolving industry.