What is a townhouse?
When looking for a property, the choice is most often made between two options: a house or an apartment. But in reality, there is a third option, halfway between a house and an apartment: the townhouse. What is a townhouse? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a townhouse? Find out below the answers to these questions.
The characteristics of a townhouse
The definition of a townhouse is not entirely clear. Most often, a Townhouse is an urban terraced house made up of several floors with several parts. You can find in the townhouses small gardens and a backyard.
However, remember that there are 03 types of townhouses:
- Terraced townhouses: houses are built on the same land and are contiguous. This strategy significantly reduces the construction budget.
- Autonomous townhouses: they make on spaces that surround the dwelling. At the time of their construction, the cities were not yet developed. They were considered suburbs. Urban development influenced townhouses which later integrated into populated neighborhoods. Likewise, these types of houses have a peculiarity that makes them unique.
- Row townhouses: you will find this type of house in the center of towns. They are stuck one against the other, all along the streets. Of course, these houses are terraced on all sides, except the ends.
The advantages of the townhouse
Here are some advantages of a townhouse.
It allows you to live in a house without leaving the first ring.
Townhouses make it possible to reconcile independent accommodation and an urban lifestyle. They are more affordable than single-family homes. In addition, townhouses offer the possibility of raising pets. Indeed, spaces are reserved for pets.
It offers a significant space.
With townhouses, you benefit from more extensive space than in a condo with an attic or basement. These townhouses provide private outdoor space for relaxation on the terrace or courtyard.
It presents a good compromise between apartment and house.
Sometimes some houses have the characteristics of a duplex. For those looking for smaller accommodations, townhouses are a perfect transition. In addition, these homes fit halfway between a single-family home and a condo. The latter is less independent than townhouses and more affordable than single-family homes. It is a house suitable for any family: couples, singles, families with children, etc.
The disadvantages of a townhouse
Sometimes the prices get high because some building areas and living spaces are expensive and in demand. You must also add the property taxes, which are more and more exorbitant. It limits some families in acquiring a townhouse. Finally, you should also know that the living area will reduce, suddenly each space must exploit carefully.
Why Buy a Townhouse?
Until a few years ago, it was more common to settle in the outskirts of large cities or the countryside. It is now reversed. Across the country, there is a growing tendency to come and live in cities and, therefore, in townhouses across the country.
Urban living in a townhouse has become increasingly popular in recent years. A few years ago, many families left their townhouses to settle in the countryside. And the trend is reversing. The youngest wants to live in a comfortable house and take advantage of the city situation as much as possible. These homes are attractive because of their proximity to work, schools for children, shops, and even medical services. Cultural offerings, cafes, and restaurants are quickly accessible from the townhouse.
WHAT IS A TOWNHOUSE?
The definition of the term townhouse is not always clearly defined. In most cases, a townhouse is an urban terraced house that spans one or more floors with several parts. It may have a small garden or a courtyard at the back.
There are three types of townhouses:
- Autonomous townhouses, built on a plot of land that will surround the dwelling. At the time of their construction, the city was not so extensive; it was even the suburbs. Urban growth meant that these houses were integrated into densely populated neighborhoods. This type of house has become increasingly rare because, with the pressure of land, these lands are worth gold. The old houses are demolished to build a building there which will have greater profitability;
- Terraced houses: two homes are built on the same land and are contiguous. It made it possible to reduce construction costs;
- Row townhouses are characteristic of town centers. The houses are stuck together, along a street. They are terraced on both sides, except at each end of the road. Therefore, the land is exploited to the maximum, even going as far as the absence of a backyard which nevertheless has so much charm.
ADVANTAGES OF A TOWNHOUSE
Although the large family home is still considered the ideal form of living for many, the townhouse has become more prevalent in recent years. The development of urban infrastructure tends to take precedence over the family home.
Living in a townhouse usually means you are a short distance from shopping for groceries, university, or schools. Many city dwellers can also do without their car, as public transport around the house is very developed.
The townhouse is also interesting for its energy performance. Indeed, it is terraced to the next house’s left and right and on several floors. It improves the overall insulation of the home and will save you heating costs. In the case of a renovation, you will not have to thermally insulate the party walls, which is a significant saving on the work budget.
Buying a townhouse often makes it possible to create an atypical property. The decoration magazines are raving about these completely renovated residences. Architect house, loft, and contemporary house atmosphere with open kitchen are pretty possible, giving life to magnificent projects.
Another positive aspect of the townhouse is its small garden. Its maintenance is much less critical than in a large family home. As a result, many older people return to townhouses to reduce gardening work and better enjoy their retirement.
DISADVANTAGES OF A TOWNHOUSE
As building areas and downtown living spaces are in demand and expensive, prices get high. Add an often exorbitant property tax, and many families cannot afford to buy a townhouse.
The living area is also smaller; each square meter must be exploited to the maximum. If there is a lack of space, do not hesitate to convert the attic to create the sizeable missing bedroom.
Living in a townhouse is also having a neighbor. It is acceptable to have a neighborhood life, with its animation, cars and public transport noise, and people passing in front of your windows. It is sometimes complicated to find one without the opposite. You must also accept not to have your garden, and prefer to go to public parks. And those who don’t want to give up their car will often struggle to find a parking space in specific neighborhoods (and let’s not even talk about being able to park easily on the street). Living in a townhouse is, first of all, a state of mind; you have to love the city.
Finally, a townhouse only has windows on the street and garden side. And depending on its orientation, it can make huge differences inside. If all the windows in the living rooms face north, you will have a reasonably dark house, and you won’t be able to do much about it. Likewise, if you live in an alley surrounded by homes with several floors, rooms on the ground floor may rarely receive the sun.
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Those who appreciate the proximity to their workplace, cultural offerings, or restaurants and who don’t hesitate to socialize with people with their neighbors will find that the townhouse offers a truly urban lifestyle. The townhouse is suitable for singles, families, or the elderly depending on its size and features. After years of emigration to the suburbs of metropolises, the tendency to revive townhouses is now a reality.
In both planned and gated communities, townhouses have a crucial difference from condominium or cooperative developments: the owners have full ownership of the house and the land on which it sits. It means that homeowners are responsible for maintaining all aspects of the home, inside and out. At the same time, in condo or co-op developments, things like the roof, plumbing, water heaters, air conditioning compressors, landscaping, and other utilities are the responsibility of community management.
While the idea of owning a home is appealing to many potential buyers, it’s worth mentioning that repairing leaky roofs and HVAC systems can cost tens of thousands of dollars. A condo or co-op development may be a better choice for those who prefer not to worry about such things.
In a planned community, townhouse owners may be governed by a homeowners association, or HOA, which oversees the maintenance and management of common areas and community amenities, and is made up of a council of administration elected owners.
Are townhouses private?
When considering living in a townhouse, many homebuyers express concern about noise passing through shared walls, depending on how they were built. Some townhouses do not offer the owner complete privacy, so their neighbors can hear loud conversations and activities, like vacuuming and watching TV. This noise pollution goes both ways: you may be annoyed by the noise if you have noisy neighbors.
It is typical to expect some noise pollution in older townhouses. Still, in more modern constructions, developers have been able to use new soundproofing materials and new construction technologies to keep disturbance to a minimum. Suppose you are considering a townhouse with thin party walls. In that case, there are affordable ways to reduce noise and protect your privacy, such as adding built-in closets or covering the walls with large pieces of furniture such as bookcases and cabinets.
If you’re looking for a townhouse, you’ve probably come across several listings for townhomes. As the name suggests, these are homes that have been designed to fit into densely populated cities and accommodate a lot of living space on a small plot of land. These homes can be built in any architectural style, come in all sizes, and have layouts dictated by the lot’s size. There is only one true characteristic of townhouses, and that is the fact that they share walls with their neighbors.
Townhouses are multi-story single-family homes that share at least one wall with a neighboring house.
Rowhouses, also called row houses, are built-in groups, with each house sharing one or both side walls; in real estate, this is called a “terraced” house. Townhouses are more compact than single-family homes, but they don’t necessarily lack square footage; most townhouses split their rooms over two or three floors, but larger models can have four or more levels.
Townhouses were initially built in towns where real estate was scarce, and developers had to group several houses on small land; in densely populated cities like New York City. It’s rare to see single-family homes outside of suburban neighborhoods.
Townhouses have long been touted as an affordable option for first-time buyers, but this is no longer true in most large cities, where they can sell for millions of dollars. Today’s affordable townhouses find in the suburbs, where they have become a popular housing style in planned communities. These developments may include shared facilities such as swimming pools, recreation areas, fitness centers, and other common facilities. But, unlike apartments, the owners do not share any entrance or shared space with their neighbors.