What’s It Like To Live in a Townhouse?

Whether you’re ready to purchase your first home or looking to downsize to a house with less square footage, a townhouse can be a great option. A townhouse is a single-family home that shares at least one wall with another residence. Knowing the pros and cons of living in a townhouse can help you decide whether it’s the right choice for you.

Benefits of Townhouses

Many people live in townhouses, which are common in the suburbs and urban areas with limited space. Curious about what it’s like to live in a townhouse? Here are some of the benefits:

  • Affordability: Generally, townhouses are more affordable than detached single-family homes. Townhouses can be an attractive option for first-time homebuyers who can’t afford a large down payment or a costly mortgage.
  • Low maintenance: Townhouses usually have smaller yards, resulting in less exterior maintenance. In addition, some townhomes are part of homeowners associations (HOAs), which may handle all exterior maintenance.
  • Community amenities: Many townhouses offer community amenities, such as a shared pool or gym. Some communities may even host social events, so you can get to know your neighbors.

Challenges of Living in a Townhouse

There are some potential drawbacks of living in a townhome as well. These challenges can include:

  • Less¬†privacy:¬†Townhomes share at least one wall with another unit, providing less privacy than a detached home. This might be a concern if you have noisy neighbors.
  • Limited space: A townhouse is usually smaller than a detached single-family home. However, most townhomes have two or more floors, which can provide additional space.
  • HOA fees: If your townhome is part of an HOA, you may have to pay fees, in addition to a mortgage.

Work With a Real Estate Agent

For people who prefer the affordability and community of a townhome, the benefits far outweigh the potential challenges. If you’re interested in purchasing a townhouse, it’s a good idea to work with a real estate agent. They can provide information on the townhouses for sale in your desired neighborhood. Once you find the ideal home, they can negotiate on your behalf and walk you through the paperwork.

Get To Know the Neighborhood

Since you’ll be close to your neighbors (and sharing a wall with at least one of them), make sure you get to know the neighborhood. Spend some time exploring the area where you’ll potentially live. It can be beneficial to visit the neighborhood a few times during different parts of the day, such as the morning and evening. Pay attention to the street noise, the parking availability, and other factors that are important to you, such as security.

Ask About HOA Fees

Before you purchase a townhome, ask whether it’s part of an HOA. If you’ll be paying HOA fees, make sure you can reasonably afford them. Ask questions to ensure you understand what those fees cover, such as landscaping. You can also request a copy of the HOA’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&R), which will describe what you can and can’t do with the townhouse.

Like all other housing options, a townhome has both pros and cons. However, if you want to purchase an affordable home with low maintenance and a built-in sense of community, it might be a good option for you.

Cooper Jones

With two decades of immersion in the real estate industry, Cooper Jones graduated from the University of Chicago with a Master's in Urban Planning. His expertise, particularly in aiding first-time homeowners, has been a boon since he joined us in 2020. His 20-year journey includes roles in mortgage consulting and real estate brokerage. An accomplished pianist, Cooper also dedicates time to teaching financial literacy workshops in his local community. He enjoys mountain biking and participates in community theater.

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