What exactly is a townhome?

If you're in the process of buying a home, you have many options. Depending on your budget and lifestyle preferences, you might consider a single-family home, a condo or even a townhouse.

But what exactly is a townhouse? And should you consider buying one?

Keep reading as we break down the primary features you need to know about townhomes.


What is a townhome?

A townhome is a single-family residential dwelling unit (or home) that shares one or two walls with the next-door neighbors. From the inside, you might not know the difference, but they're usually easy to spot from the outside

Townhomes typically have their own entryway and often have private outdoor space. Since townhomes historically were built to save space, they are also often multi-floor units.

Townhomes are commonly found in more urban areas where space is a premium. The stacked and closely packed design helps build more homes and save space.

You'll find examples of some of the first townhomes in historic population-dense cities like New York or Boston.


What are the different types of townhomes?

The exact definition of a townhome is often used loosely. So it can be helpful to clarify the different types of townhouses you may encounter.


Freehold townhome

A freehold townhome or a row house is simply a single-family home that shares walls with neighbors. Like buying a semi-detached home, you may have shared responsibilities between the units. But otherwise, it's very similar to owning a detached home where you fully own the property.


Condo townhome

While most people would traditionally consider a condo a unit in a high-rise building. A townhome can also be part of a condo. These condo townhomes can be part of a larger condominium with a neighboring condo building or it can be a community of only townhomes.

Buying a townhouse as a condo typically means you only own the inside of the home. However, you get to enjoy the benefits and amenities of being part of a condo or HOA.


Stacked townhome

A stacked townhouse is a cross between a condo and a traditional townhome. As the name suggests, these are typically made up of two townhomes stacked on top of each other.

Compared to a unit in a building, you might see more space. However, they're often smaller than individual townhomes. You'll commonly see these as part of larger condos or communities.


What's the difference between a townhome, a condo, or an apartment?

As mentioned, a townhome can be a condo. The primary difference is in the ownership.

On the other hand, apartments typically refer to units in a high-rise building. Apartment units can be owned through a condominium or co-op or rented out.


What are the benefits of living in a townhome?

Townhomes are often a popular choice among home buyers - for good reason! Here are some pros of choosing townhome living.

  • Private outdoor space: Compared to condos or apartments, townhomes often have a yard or a large patio. So you can enjoy the sunshine in peace.
  • Lower maintenance: While townhomes often boast yards, they're often much smaller than those of single-family homes. The smaller space can save you time on outdoor maintenance. Many condo-style townhomes also offer maintenance, like snow removal or even a roof fund.
  • Cost: As a general rule of thumb, townhouses are less expensive than detached homes. You can often get more space and square footage at a lower selling price.


Buying a townhouse

When it comes to buying a townhome (or any home) the first step is getting a pre-approval. If you're buying a townhome within a condo or HOA, these costs may factor into your mortgage qualification amount.

Otherwise, buying a townhome is very similar to purchasing any other property. With relatively lower costs and benefits of townhome living, a townhome is a great choice for many homeowners.



We hope this article was of value to you. For more great tips, bookmark our site and for all your mortgage needs, visit the A Team at TMFFMS.


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