Is Townhouse Living Right For You?

Posted on: 15 December 2016

If you're in the market for a small, but family-friendly home but don't want a lot of land, one of the options your realtor may recommend is a townhouse. Townhouses are attached homes placed side by side, often surrounding a park or community yard area. While townhouse living is ideal for many people, not everyone enjoys it. So consider these pros and cons before you rent or purchase a townhome for sale.

Pro: You have access to many shared amenities.

Most townhouses are located in structured communities where the homeowners (or renters) have access to amenities like swimming pools, fitness centers, and car wash stations. If you were to buy a detached home, you would pay a lot for one with all of these features. But with a townhome, the price tends to be more affordable since these features are shared among community members.

Pro: You don't have to do yard work.

In most townhome communities, the yard work and landscaping is handled by a team of professionals. You'll probably pay a monthly or annual fee for landscaping -- or this might be bundled into your HOA fee -- but you won't have to pick up the rake or drive the lawnmower yourself. This can be really convenient if you're a busy working professional or parent.

Pro: It's easy to meet people.

If you're new in town or simply looking to make new friends, you'll have an easy time of it in a townhouse community. The community amenities, like the pool and fitness center, often become gathering spots. Your neighbors are all close by, so you'll get used to seeing each other and naturally strike up conversations.

Con: There's not so much privacy.

If you want the ability to lounge on your back deck in your bathing suit without a soul in sight, then a townhome might not be for you. The downside to having lots of neighbors around is that you won't get a lot of alone time. Everyone will quickly get to know where you live, so you may get some knocks on your door when you don't particularly want company.

Con: There are almost always HOA fees.

Townhomes are almost always under the jurisdiction of a home owners' association. While this association will keep the grounds looking nice and take care of other community-related tasks, there is a fee involved. Some HOAs are more restrictive than others, but if you don't like someone telling you what color to paint your house or what kinds of flowers you can plant, townhouse living may not be right for you.