Townhomes are becoming more and more common these days and are especially popular with first-time home buyers. There are many reasons why this is the case.
If you’re thinking about buying a home, there are many options available. Two of the main ones to consider are houses and townhomes. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand what the differences are, but each of them has distinct pros and cons.
In this townhome guide, we’ll shed some light on the townhome vs house debate and help you decide which is right for you.
Should You Buy a House?
There are many great reasons to buy a regular home instead of a townhouse. While a standard home may be a bit more expensive initially compared to a townhouse, you’ll also find that you have a lot more freedom and independence as well. You’ll also probably have more exterior space available.
When buying a house that’s not part of an HOA, you won’t have a lot of HOA fees or ongoing maintenance costs to take care of. On top of this, you won’t have to adhere to all of the HOA rules that you may have to pay attention to if you’re living in a townhome instead. You’ll have greater control over your property and will have more privacy overall.
If you’re the kind of person that wants more space, more control, and more autonomy, then buying a regular home may be the best choice for you.
Should You Buy a Townhouse?
While buying a regular home will give you a lot of autonomy and control, there are some great benefits to owning a townhouse instead.
Perhaps the primary benefit of having a townhouse is that you won’t have to worry about performing maintenance on your property as much. A lot of maintenance will probably be covered already by your HOA. You’ll be able to relax and focus on living instead of worrying about upkeep tasks such as mowing the lawn, landscaping, and snow removal.
Another great benefit of owning a townhome is that there will be plenty of included amenities that you can make use of. Townhome communities often include swimming pools, tennis courts, and other great amenities that you’ll be happy to use.
On top of this, the initial cost of a townhouse will be lower. You’ll be paying less initially than if you were to buy a regular home instead.
If you’re the type of person that doesn’t want to focus on maintenance, or if you’re a first-time homeowner, buying a townhouse might be a great choice for you.
Understanding the Differences Between Buying a Townhome or a House
By now, you should have a basic understanding of the differences between townhomes and houses. Here’s a more in-depth look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of each option.
Houses Have More Exterior Space
One of the things that you may be wondering about townhomes and houses is if there are any size differences.
The interior size of each type of home isn’t necessarily all that different and will vary based on the specific house or townhouse you choose to buy. Townhouses and regular houses can both be either small or large, and their size will depend on the specific home rather than on the type of house that it is.
Where the two types of houses vary, however, is in the exterior space available. Typically, there will be very little exterior space available with a townhouse. Townhouses will be connected to or located very close to other houses, and there won’t be a large yard or a lot of exterior space, generally speaking.
While not every house will offer more space than a townhouse will, it will often be the case. The exterior space that’s available will vary with the specific house you choose, but will often be much more than what you would get with a typical townhouse.
Differences in Construction
The way that townhomes and standard houses are constructed and designed are significantly different.
Townhouses will usually have multiple levels and will be a part of a larger row of houses. Townhouses will usually be connected on the sides and there will be a uniform look between the various single-family townhouses that are connected to one another.
With standard homes, there are a lot more individualized designs available and there is less uniformity between them.
If you want to live in a neighborhood where your home doesn’t look like all of the others on the block, then you may want to opt for a regular home instead of a townhouse.
Townhomes Have Great Amenities
It’s also important to recognize that if you’re interested in having great amenities, you may be better off choosing a townhouse. Townhouses are more likely to be in developments that will have special amenities available including swimming pools, fitness centers, tennis courts, and more.
In some cases, you will also find standard homes with the same amenities as well, but there are many cases where these houses won’t come with any of these amenities. If you’re buying a regular house, you’ll usually need to pay for and build the amenities that you want yourself.
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Generally speaking, a townhouse will be significantly more affordable than a single-family home that is similar in size and features.
The initial cost of a townhouse will probably be less than a typical single-family house. However, townhouses and standard homes vary quite a bit, and there are all kinds of options on the market. The specific cost will vary greatly depending on the specific townhouse or house you buy.
In addition to this, make sure to remember that while the initial cost for a townhouse might be lower, it’s not the full picture. There will be a lot of monthly fees and special assessments for a townhome that you may not have to worry about when you own a regular home. HOA fees can be high with a townhome.
Be sure to weigh out the pros and cons of the initial cost as well as the ongoing costs when choosing between a townhome and a house.
Townhomes Are Low-Maintenance
If the home you’re buying is not a part of a homeowner’s association, then you’ll be responsible for all maintenance activities and will need to make sure that your home and yard stay in great shape year-round.
You’ll need to mow the lawn and handle landscaping yourself or will need to hire someone to do it for you. If there are any repairs that need to be made, you’ll be responsible for dealing with them.
On the other hand, maintenance tasks may be taken care of for you by an HOA if you own a townhome. Many upkeep activities, such as landscaping and snow removal, may be covered for you automatically.
In addition to this, an HOA will also take care of the other included amenities such as the tennis court or swimming pool as well.
Houses Offer More Control and Freedom
While owning a home that’s part of an HOA can be helpful due to the lower maintenance, there will also be more rules and standards to live by as well.
If you own a townhome, then you’ll have to follow the rules closely. Making even simple changes to your home may require approval and you won’t be free to do anything that you want when you own a townhome.
If you own a regular home, then you’ll have a lot more freedom available. You can make more changes to your property than you would be able to do if you were living in a townhome.
If you prefer to have more freedom with your home and want to live with fewer rules, then you’ll probably be happier owning a traditional house instead of a townhome.
Understanding the Differences Between a Townhome vs House
If you’re trying to understand the difference between a townhome vs house, you need to be sure to take all of the information above into consideration. While townhomes and houses are similar in many ways, they aren’t quite the same.
Buying a townhome can be a great option if you want to have a small maintenance obligation and want to make use of the amenities that are available. On the other hand, owning a house can be a great choice if you want to have more space, privacy, and autonomy overall.
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