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The Pros and Cons of Buying a Townhouse

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The Pros and Cons of Buying a Townhouse

Pros and Cons of townhome

There are three common types of homes – single-family occupancy homes (stand alone units), condos, and townhomes. But, what is a townhome really?

Historically, the term ‘townhome’ referred to the city residence of England’s upper class families. Wealthy families maintained one or more country homes which they occupied during the majority of the year. They utilized their ‘townhome’ during the social season when major balls and parties took place.

Today’s townhomes are a tad different. They typically serve as the primary residence for families. Technically, in the United States, townhomes are defined as a single-family dwelling that shares a wall with another house and has at least two floors. This differs from a duplex because each townhome is individually owned.

Why live in a townhome? They offer some perks. To determine if a townhome is the right choice for you, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.

Pro: Affordability

Because a townhome shares at least one wall with its neighbor, it typically takes up less land. In a pricy real estate market, where land is in short supply, this can make townhomes a more affordable option than a stand-alone unit.

Con: Less Land

For those looking to build a chicken coop and/or basketball court in the backyard, a townhome might prove challenging. Designed to require less land, they do just that – require less land. If backyards and front yards exist, they are typically smaller than freestanding homes. The same holds true for side yards.

Pro: Location

Townhomes are typically located near major metropolitan areas. Unlike condos which are often located downtown, townhomes can normally be found at the very beginning of the suburbs. For many homeowners, this allows them to buy something a little bigger than a condo while still enjoying a reasonable commute.

Con & Pro: Homeowner’s Association & Dues

Depending on your perspective, a homeowner’s association can be a good thing or a bad thing. The homeowner’s association sets rules for common areas – this can include the exterior of your home, parking areas, workout facilities, and communal patios. Dues are used to cover pre-determined expenses, such as maintenance and repairs. For some prospective buyers, a homeowner’s association might seem too restricting. For others, it can ensure the value of their home is maintained.

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