Townhouses vs. Single Family Homes: Which Is Right for You? - Home & Texture
Before You Buy Townhome or House

Should You Buy a Townhouse or a Single Family Home? These Are the Pros and Cons

Make the best choice for you and your family with all the info at your fingertips.

By
April 4, 2024 at 4:53 AM PST
Updated on April 4, 2024 at 4:53 AM PST
Before You Buy Townhome or House

Should You Buy a Townhouse or a Single Family Home? These Are the Pros and Cons

Make the best choice for you and your family with all the info at your fingertips.

By
April 4, 2024 at 4:53 AM PST
Updated on April 4, 2024 at 4:53 AM PST

If you’ve started the journey of deciding the next place to call home, you’re faced with a few decisions. The most obvious choice is a standalone home, but what if you’re not ready to deal with a yard? Or if you live in a city, maybe you’re not ready to give that life up altogether. Everyone has their own version of the “white picket fence,” and sometimes that doesn’t involve a fence at all. If you’re weighing your options, a townhome could be a better alternative. Here’s what to consider.

Space: Living Large or Cozying Up?

Living in a single-family home means having plenty of space to spread out. With a yard to call your own, you can host barbecues, garden to your heart’s content, or simply enjoy the luxury of privacy. However, more space often comes with a bigger price tag and requires more maintenance. If you have a growing family, or just a growing need to get out of the city, the spaciousness of a single-family home is great. And, depending on the location, you can still be near all the things you love, it just may be a walk or a short drive away.

Townhouses, however, offer a more compact living arrangement. While you may sacrifice some yard space, townhouses often make up for it with convenient amenities like community pools or gyms. Plus, the smaller footprint means less upkeep and lower utility bills. If you don’t need all the space or the suburbs just aren’t quite appealing, a townhouse provides all the comforts of home without the hassle of extensive maintenance. Depending on the amenities, location and style, townhomes can be cheaper than a single-family home. In June 2023, the median single-family home sold for $445,890, compared to $371,458 for a townhouse.

Photo credit: Francesca Russell

Community Living vs. Neighborhood Vibes

If you crave peace and quiet, a single-family home in a residential neighborhood might be just the ticket. You’ll have the space to create your own oasis away from the hustle and bustle of city life. However, living in a suburban or rural area can mean longer commutes and fewer opportunities for spontaneous socializing.

Townhouse living offers a built-in sense of community, with neighbors literally sharing your walls. Plus, many townhouse communities have homeowners’ associations that take care of maintenance tasks like lawn care and snow removal, freeing up your weekends and spare time for fun.

Flexibility: To Customize or Not to Customize?

Owning a single-family home gives you the freedom to customize your space to your heart’s content. Want to knock down a wall to create an open-concept living area? Go for it! However, renovations can be time-consuming and costly, so be prepared for some DIY projects or contractor headaches. From installing a dream kitchen to adding a home office or man cave, the possibilities are endless when you own a single-family home. With full control over design choices and layout changes, you can truly make your home a reflection of your unique style and personality.

While you may not have as much freedom to make structural changes in a townhouse, many come with modern finishes and amenities straight out of the box. Major renovations might not be permitted but can vary. If you prefer a low-maintenance lifestyle with minimal hassle, a townhouse offers the perfect blend of convenience and comfort. With turnkey living and stylish finishes, you can spend less time worrying about repairs and more time enjoying your home sweet home.

Photo credit: Grace Cary

Investment Potential: Building Equity or Maintenance Fees?

Historically, single-family homes have been seen as a solid long-term investment. As you pay down your mortgage and property values appreciate, you’re building equity in your home. However, as a homeowner, you’d be responsible for all maintenance and repairs, which can add up over time. While the initial investment may be higher, owning a single-family home can pay off in the long run. This is because property values tend to increase and equity grows.

Townhouses can also be a smart investment, especially in desirable locations with limited housing inventory. If you’re an investor looking for a low-maintenance rental property or a first-time buyer looking to build equity without breaking the bank, a townhouse offers an affordable entry point into the real estate market.




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