From land ownership to the freedom to renovate, here are the top reasons why you should pick a townhouse over a condo or apartment.
When you’ve saved up enough for a first home, have begun to seriously consider settling down, the kind of home that you probably imagined having is a house. Over the years, however, the emergence of condos and their unique features, as well as the flexibility of apartment renting, has been changing the minds of those who have yet to decide on their first real estate venture. But have you given any thought on the possibilities you can have as a townhouse owner?
Don’t jump into the condo bandwagon just yet, and hold off on signing the lease of that door apartment until you’ve considered how a townhouse trumps both of these dwelling options.
As the owner of a townhouse, you own the dwelling itself, the entire land on which your home is built, the garden, and everything that’s built within the boundary of your property. Sure, most townhouses do belong in a community where use of facilities like the neighborhood’s pool or playground is for everyone, but whatever add-on you build on your property like a gazebo or a stone walkway is yours alone.
Relaxing on your own lawn is something you can’t do in a condo. (Photo via Shutterstock)
When you buy a home in a condo unit, you are the sole owner of your unit and a portion of the land. That’s it. You share everything else with other people who own units in the building, like the common areas and the amenities. As an apartment renter, you’re at an even bigger disadvantage; not only do you have to share use of common areas of the building, you also can’t lay claim to anything.
Layout and space
Townhouses are a lot more flexible when it comes to space. Most of them come in two, even three levels, plus an attic for storage or an additional living space. And each townhouse is normally built with its own garage or driveway, a luxury that condo owners can own for an additional fee. If you’re lucky, you might find a townhouse that has its own small garden up front or even a backyard.
Bet you’re wishing you had more breathing room. (Photo via Shutterstock)
Condo units and door apartments, on the other hand, can be limiting. Most of them follow a standard layout wherein everything is in one floor, which might be a disadvantage for people who require a lot of storage space. Of course, you can get a loft-style condo for a bit more room to stretch in, but you can expect it to come with a hefty price tag.
Noise and privacy
Townhouses and condo or door apartment units do have to sacrifice a bit when it comes to privacy as these properties are adjoined, unlike detached houses. The only question is, how many neighbors would you be adjoined to? For a townhouse owner, having neighbors on either side will be their biggest hurdle. And they can lessen their worry by opting for an end unit, which guarantees they’ll only have one shared wall with a neighbor. You might still be able to hear one neighboring family (and they’ll hear you), but it’s better than having two or more to worry about, right?
Living in a townhouse means fewer next-door neighbors to bother (and be bothered by). (Photo via Shutterstock)
Condo owners and apartment renters aren’t this fortunate. If you end up buying or renting a unit in the middle area of a condominium or door apartment, not only will you be dealing with residents on either side of you, but the ones above and below you too. There is such a thing as low-density living, yes, but as in the case of additional space, these units are usually found in high-priced condos.
In a townhouse community, it’s easier to have each other’s backs. You can simply sit at your porch or peek out the window to watch for people who seem to be lingering too long by the lamp post at the corner. With this much visibility, reporting suspicious activity is faster and keeping each other safe is more convenient. Also, living in a place as open as a townhouse community, you can’t help but run into each other as you come and go all day, so it’s easier to distinguish who doesn’t belong there.
Having a nosy neighbor has its perks after all; they can keep an eye on your property since you’re close by. (Photo via Shutterstock)
Have you ever asked your condo or door apartment neighbor to look after your unit while you go on vacation? You can, but there’s no point, really, unless you pay them to actually step out of their own door and patrol the corridors of your floor to wait for intruders. Unless there are guards on every floor of your building (and there probably isn’t) aside from the one at the lobby downstairs, you’re pretty much on your own.
Like a condo unit owner, someone who buys a townhouse that belongs to a community pays association fees too, but theirs are lower since these monthly payments usually just go to maintenance services like street sweeping and garbage collection. Townhouse owners take care of their own homes, so payments for fixing leaky faucets or roof replacements are on their own account, not shared by the whole community.
If you want this thorough a job of garden maintenance, you have to pay your association dues. (Photo via Shutterstock)
Condo owners tend to pay higher association dues than townhouse owners. This is because they share the use of more common areas (pool, gym, garden, lounge area, etc.), all of which need maintenance and may require occasional repair.
A townhouse owner is in charge of the renovations of his home. He can pretty much do whatever he wants inside and outside his home. They shouldn’t encounter any issue as long as they stick to the property’s limits and are considerate of the noise and other hassle the project may cause the neighbors.
As a townhouse owner, you can go crazy with your HGTV-style home renovation. (Photo via Shutterstock)
No one says you can’t renovate your condo, as long as you ask permission from the building’s administration first. And let them know what changes you’ll be doing. And your timeline. And when your construction team will be working. And you can’t touch the outside of your unit. Basically, everything has to go through the condo’s admin. With a door apartment, be prepared for to face even more limitations that your landlord sets (which you have to change back when you leave).
Sources: coldwellbanker.com, diffen.com, howstuffworks.com
Main image courtesy of Shutterstock