5 Important Things to Consider When Buying a Townhouse

There are many folks in the United States right now who wish to purchase a home but can’t afford it because of the crazy real estate prices. Do you fall into that category?

One great way to afford a property is to look into buying a townhouse instead of buying a home. That’s because townhouses are usually much cheaper than homes when you look at average costs. There are many reasons for this difference.

Keep reading to learn more about the townhouse features you need to pay attention to before purchasing one.

1. Townhouses Are on a Smaller Lot

Source: forbes.com

If you are moving from a bigger home on a detached lot to a townhouse, you are going to find that you won’t be able to fit all your stuff into it. That’s because a townhouse usually comes with smaller square footage and is laid out on a smaller lot.

Not only that, but you will probably have a hard time finding a detached townhouse, as most of them are semi-detached or attached to the lot next to them. That is, a townhouse you are looking at might be sandwiched in between two others instead of being the one on the end (the ones on the end are more expensive since they have a bigger lot).

But each unit does come with its own outdoor space, like a little patio or porch, where you can put down some furniture and enjoy the ambiance. Also, you will have a solid fence in the back, which will ensure that you don’t have to look into your neighbor’s home or activity.

Another thing you will notice with a townhouse is that they only have windows on the front and back and nothing on the side since you don’t want to look into your neighbor’s rooms or have them look into yours.

That’s why you will want to ensure you have lots of lighting inside the room, and also add an overhead skylight if that’s a possibility to bring in more natural light into your space.

2. Townhouses Can Be 2-3 Storeys High

Source: thebalancemoney.com

If you are an older person whos looking to downsize and buy a townhouse, then keep in mind that townhouses are usually 2-3 stories high. Since they come on a smaller lot, the builders will tend to build upwards to gain that extra square footage.

Mobility might be an issue for you as you might not be able to climb stairs that easily. If that’s the case, then a townhouse will not work for you.

There’s no way you could spend all your time in the living area downstairs while the 2 floors upstairs sit abandoned. You might be better off purchasing an apartment that is all on one level and comes with an elevator.

3. Townhouses Come With HOA Fees

Just like apartments or condos, townhouses come with homeownership association (HOA) fees. That’s because the shared areas in a townhouse lot are taken care of and maintained by the HOA.

So if you are on a tight budget, don’t forget to account for HOA fees when calculating your monthly outlay. There are many similarly tricky aspects when buying a new home so click here to read some informative guides. 

The front and back lawns are under your control, but the communal areas, the parking lot, and any recreational areas are all under the HOA’s control. Also, rooftop maintenance might be your concern as well – make sure to check on this, as it can get pretty expensive to fix the roof.

4. Townhouses Also Don’t Have as Much Privacy

Source: streeteasy.com

As you might imagine, due to the shared walls and the townhouses being right next to each other, there is a lack of privacy in townhouses. It’s better than living in an apartment, though since you could have neighbors on all sides in a condo, whereas in a townhouse, they are only on either side.

But if you have a neighbor who likes to have loud parties or to play their drums at 2 am, you are going to hear all of it, and your sleep cycle will be greatly disrupted.

Make sure to do a little bit of checking before you purchase a townhouse. Visit them at all different times of day to see what the noise levels are like. Also, you could chat with a few friendly folks and enquire what the privacy in the neighborhood is like and how loud the neighbors are.

If the townhouse is located next to a highway, you will want to be cognizant of that as well since traffic noise can be another thing keeping you up at night or disturbing you during the day.

5. Townhouses Have Very Specific Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&Rs)

Source; cityrealty.com

Just like with a condo or apartment, you have restrictions on what you can do with your townhouse. For example, in most townhouses, you cannot hang a clothesline outside.

This means that the Park City townhomes look nice from the outside because they aren’t inundated by random human garments or other such items. This helps maintain higher property values.

But it also means that there are many things you cannot do in a townhouse because of the CC&R. Make sure to read through the documents related to that to see what the covenants, conditions, and restrictions are and if you feel like they are too much for you to handle, find another townhouse with fewer CC&Rs.

Fulfill Your Dream of Homeownership by Buying a Townhouse

There’s no need to wait years to save up on your down payment before buying a home. With the lower cost of a townhouse, you could be a proud homeowner soon enough.

Now that you are more aware of the vagaries associated with buying a townhouse, you are ready to go out hunting for a suitable one for you.

Also, read through related articles on homeownership advice and stay informed.