Here’s what most of us mistakenly think we know about townhouses: They’re glorified apartments. They’re houses squished together so hard they share walls. They’re ruled by iron-fisted homeowners’ associations who will force you to dye your dog to match your window shades.
Turns out, most of us are straight-up wrong about townhouses. They’re not apartments or houses, or even condominiums. And HOAs will not make you dye your dog. Probably. (Just in case, maybe you should ask before you move in if you feel strongly about dog dyeing.)
So-called because of the proximity to town, townhouses are often clustered in and around urban cores.
The price of a townhouse is generally less than a detached single-family home of the same size and location. Townhouses, therefore, make good starter homes for first-time buyers and those who have a limited budget, when compared to detached homes.
In addition to the lower purchase price, townhouse owners may find themselves paying lower utility bills as a townhome’s shared walls help prevent heat loss.
The homeowners association (HOA) oversees daily community operations, including caring for common areas, pools, painting, roofing, roads, driveways, parking pads, landscaping, yard care, general maintenance and trash removal. A homeowner agrees to follow the HOA’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) upon buying. Newer single-family homes may also have an HOA, but it is essential to townhome ownership. The advantage to a townhouse community is that the HOA ensures upkeep and uniformity of the dwellings.
Homeownership of any type requires maintenance, but maintenance in a townhouse may require considerably less effort than in a single-family home. In a free-standing house, homeowners must maintain the interior of the house as well as exterior items like the roof, shutters, driveway and outside fixtures. In a townhouse community, though, the homeowners’ association typically handles external maintenance. Homeowners with an aversion to yard work may prefer the convenience of living in a townhouse.
In addition to covering external maintenance, the homeowner associations in townhouse communities often provide a wealth of other services. Typical townhouse communities include luxuries like swimming pools, tennis courts, playgrounds and clubhouses.
Contact us today to talk about your next move, be it a townhouse, condo, loft, or a single family home.