If you want the space of a house without all the maintenance, a townhouse may be the right fit for you. A townhouse is connected to other homes in the same development by a shared wall and foundation. When you buy a townhouse, you're subject to the rules of the development's homeowners association and will have to pay association fees in return for some of the benefits, such as maintenance.
Townhouses usually don't cost as much as single-family homes in the same area because of the shared foundation and walls. A townhouse may save you money on cooling and heating utilities when compared to a single-family house because of the construction style. You can negotiate for a lower job rate on major improvements if you can organize your neighbors and work together with the same contractor. For example, if your townhouse needs a new roof, you can split the cost with the unit owners in the same building.
You won't have as much landscaping with a townhouse as you would with a typical single-family home because the yards are much smaller. You're also not responsible for upkeep for the areas owned by the homeowners association, such as the landscaping in the common areas. Depending on the development, you may not be responsible for shoveling snow, major exterior repairs to exposed walls and garbage removal. Your association fees include part or all of the cost for these services.
Common areas often include amenities you'll have access to as a townhouse owner. Benefits vary by development but may include a park area, a gym, a recreation center and a pool. You will pay for the upkeep of the facilities as part of your association fees, but the cost is shared with all the other owners. You're also not responsible for cleaning or maintaining the common area facilities, as the association assumes the obligation.
Privacy and Security
While a townhouse aren't as private as a single-family home, it's often still more private than an apartment building or condo. You have more immediate neighbors in an apartment or condo building than you do in a townhome. Since you do have neighbors throughout the development and common areas, a townhouse may offer more security than a single family neighborhood. Some townhouse communities have hired security as an amenity. Also, many townhome communities are gated with restricted entrances.
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