buying a townhouse

Buying a Townhouse: 6 Pros and Cons to Consider

Is buying a townhouse the right option for you? Townhouse living has been growing in popularity for more than a decade, but the pandemic has served as a recent impetus for people to think even more about living options outside of metro areas.

Townhouse communities are a great potential option for these homebuyers. They serve as a nice middle ground between urban and suburban living: a close-knit community that exists in a quieter environment.

Let’s take a closer look at pros and cons to consider before taking the leap to buy a townhouse.

Quick Takeaways

  • Townhouses are homes attached by one or two walls to neighboring houses.
  • Townhouses are often built as part of gated communities or neighborhoods.
  • Pros of townhouse living include affordability, HOA and shared amenities, and close proximity to neighbors.
  • Cons of townhouse living include less square footage, less freedom about your home’s appearance, and less privacy.

What is a townhouse?

A townhouse is a home that shares at least one wall with a neighboring property. While the term is often used interchangeably with “condo” or “rowhome,” a townhouse is actually different from both. Condos, for example, are typically a single unit within a larger building complex. Rowhomes are built in a line and are usually built identically to each other.

Townhouses are multi-floor homes that are attached by one or two walls to neighboring homes, but can still have some architectural differences. They may have some outside land (like a small patio) but it does not extend very far past where the actual house sits.

Townhouses today are often built as part of a community or gated neighborhood, making them an attractive option for people who want to live in a close-knit community setting without being in a busy metro area. Demand for this type of living has increased as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent rise in remote work. With less people commuting to the city for work, there is more demand for housing in suburban communities.

Townhouses specifically have seen steady growth over the past several years, as reflected in construction trends reported by the National Association of Home Builders. Construction of townhouses dipped around 2009 (no surprise after the real estate bubble burst) but has been back on the rise since. Between 2020 and 2021, there was a 35% YOY increase in townhouse construction nationwide.

Construction of townhouses has been steadily on the rise since 2010.

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With demand growing for this type of home, you might be wondering: is a townhouse right for you? Let’s look into the pros and cons of townhouse living.

Buying a Townhouse: Pros and Cons

Pro: Affordability

Townhouses are generally more affordable than traditional detached homes. They sit on smaller lots, have minimal outdoor space, and share walls with the neighbors. Upkeep is also cheaper as there is simply less space to maintain.

Con: Less square footage

On the other hand, townhouses have less living space both indoors and out. Floorplans are often less open than in some traditional detached homes, and by design they’re split up into multiple floors. For big families or those with pets that require outdoor running space, townhouses may feel limiting or downright cramped.

Pro: HOA and amenities

Many townhouses are built in communities that come with a homeowners association and shared amenities. These amenities might include outdoor walking trails, pools, clubhouses, and more. HOA fees pay for services like snow removal and landscaping. Sometimes certain utilities are included, too.

Townhouse community designed with shared outdoor garden and walking spaces.

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Many people enjoy these added conveniences and might pursue buying a townhouse for those very reasons.

Con: Less freedom

While shared amenities and HOA services may be enjoyable and convenient, they also mean less freedom in some respects when it comes to your home. Many HOAs have rules about the outdoor appearance of homes (for example, no exterior painting or fences) and you may sometimes have to pay for things you don’t want or use as part of your HOA responsibilities.

It’s important for homebuyers to research the townhouse communities they’re considering and choose one with an HOA that’s a good fit for them.

Pro: Close proximity to neighbors

Like we mentioned before, townhouses definitely offer close proximity to your neighbors and, as a result, a strong sense of community. If you’re looking to live in a place where you’ll know your neighbors and get to talk to them often, a townhouse might be right for you. Townhouse communities often organize events as well, like barbecues or seasonal celebrations, that help residents get to know one another and build connections.

Con: Less privacy

You might enjoy being close with your neighbors, but it’s important to know that townhouses also limit privacy. Shared walls mean you can sometimes hear voices or loud noises (like tools or music) from your neighbor’s home.

It also means you’ll see more of them. While that typically just means you’ll encounter them more often as you come and go, it may not be the preferred scenario for someone who enjoys a quieter, more isolated living space.

Buying a Townhouse: Deciding if It’s Right for You

As you can see, townhouses have plenty of benefits — an active and engaged community, affordability, and convenient living amenities to name a few. It really comes down to doing your research and deciding if that lifestyle is right for you.

Because townhouses are often built-in areas transitioning from urban to rural, you’ll often enjoy close proximity to nearby metro areas without having to be right in the thick of it. Although you may not have as much private outdoor space as you would in a detached home, shared outdoor areas like walking trails and parks often make up for it.

In short: townhouses can provide the perfect balance.

Moving to Dayton?

Dayton is a great place to live, work, and call home. If you’re thinking about moving to the Dayton area, the team at Oberer Homes can help you find (or build!) your dream home. Contact us today to get started!

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