New homebuyers typically are faced with a plethora of decisions to make. And one of the first and most crucial ones to be made is:
“Which type of home do I want to live in?”
And while most people are probably more familiar with detached single-family homes or even condominiums (or condos), they may be surprised to learn that another option – the townhome may be the best option for them. In fact, it could be the perfect alternative to purchasing the more traditional stand-alone house with the white picket fence wrapped around it, complete with colossal back yard.
Exactly What Is It?
Otherwise known as a townhouse or row house, the typical townhome incorporates a one or two-story design – although it can be a structure consisting of three or more floors, as well. The home is attached to other almost-identical dwellings on either side if it. Thus, a townhouse is normally a portion of a long “row” of homes — hence, the name row house. Most of the townhomes you find will likely be of the two-floor variety. Characteristically, the townhome will occupy a tiny parcel of land featuring very small yards on the front and back of the home. It can also feature a yard on one side or the other — if the homeowner is fortunate enough to occupy a dwelling on either end of a row.
A townhouse is unique in that it combines several advantages of a detached single-family home, as well as a full-fledged condominium.
- Land Ownership: Like their stand-alone homeowner counterparts, townhouse owners will be glad to know that, in addition to owning the dwelling, they will also take ownership to the land upon which the home sits, which is not the case with a condominium.
- Privacy: It’s comforting to know, that, like the traditional detached house, most townhomes feature front, as well as back yards – albeit, rather small ones. This aspect of home ownership can be especially important for families who cherish get-togethers with other family members or friends. For example, cookouts or other activities can be enjoyed in the intimacy of the townhome’s private back yard.
- Comfort Zone: The fact that nobody will be living above or below you can be a great relief, unlike the situation involving condo dwellers. Remember, below you is the land parcel itself, and above you is nothing but limitless sky.
- Styling Choices. Townhomes are available in a wide variety of styles and price ranges to choose from, mimicking features found in many stand-alone houses. You name it – whether your taste runs to rustic, modern, traditional, or super-elegant, rest assured that a townhome featuring that style can be found – most likely in the area you have your heart set upon. In fact, townhouse designs are limited only by the imagination of the architect and builder.
- Increase security: Since your neighbors are in such close proximity, a sense of heightened security and safety is evident – much like living in a condo. A criminal or mischief-maker bent on breaking into your home is more likely to be noticed by the neighbors. In fact, your neighbors are more likely to be on guard when they notice something suspicious. Owing, in part, to the proximity of individual townhomes to each other, there is an inherent sense of loyalty among members of the community – everyone has a vested interest in not only protecting themselves, but, also their neighbors and their property.
- Decreased Exterior Maintenance: The amount of exterior maintenance needed on the typical townhouse is usually drastically reduced, owing to the fact that the homeowner only needs to deal with two sides of the dwelling (front and back), compared with the four sides of a traditional stand-alone house. Thus, homeowner maintenance costs are greatly reduced overall.
- Decreased Yard Maintenance: Townhome owners will appreciate how little time is needed for the upkeep on their yards. In many instances, the front yard is maintained by the townhome association (via monthly association fees). As for the backyard, it is usually so small that chores such as grass cutting, tree trimming, week whacking, etc. require minimal time.
- Sense of Community: Living in a townhouse community often fosters a spirit of close-knit neighborliness among the owners, which wouldn’t be as likely with homeowners occupying detached houses in more traditional neighborhoods. Townhouse owners are all “in the same boat” when it comes to how their homes appear, sharing amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centers, or parks, and sharing ideas as to what will affect their community through regularly-scheduled meetings. In short, there are more opportunities for the townhome owners to become acquainted with each other.
- Amenities: Although townhome owners pay monthly association fees, they have many benefits they can enjoy, as a result. Fitness rooms, swimming pools, tennis courts, clubhouses, barbecue facilities, small park areas, and computer terminals complete with internet access are oftentimes at the owners’ disposal. In fact, a family with an active lifestyles can often save money since there wouldn’t’ be the need to fork out money for the health club or other entertainment diversions – many times requiring substantial bucks.