Pros and Cons of Townhome vs. Single Family Home

posted 3 years ago in Home
Post # 2
Member
1362 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Turf Valley

My list is pretty much the exact same. Though after living in a townhouse, we ultimately decided a SFH was the right avenue for us.  The fenced area for dog (I hated going out in freezing cold weather and walking the dog at 3AM) and no shared walls was just so worth it for us.  

We invested in a snow blower for the snow!  Shoveling is just a pain in the back, literally!

Post # 3
Member
5883 posts
Bee Keeper

Make sure about the snow removal thing. Many only clear it if it’s over 3 inches deep, so there’s still some shoveling involved.

Noise from neighbors? Depending on the construction (which isn’t so great these days) you may be within earshot /shared walls with your neighbors. Owners are less inclined to do anything about it should it bother you.

Association restrictions which sometimes include holiday decorations, landscaping, paint colors,etc

More difficult for resale than a single family home.

Post # 4
Member
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’d say the shared wall can be both a con and a pro. We live in a townhome and moved into it from a single family home, and it is actually quieter. We live in a very efficient new build with soundproofing between units – it saves us a lot in energy costs, and we can’t hear a peep. Because everyone in the area we live keeps their windows open much of the year, and the homes are really close together (SF Bay Area), you could hear everything going on next door in the single family home. I’d much rather share a concrete soundproof wall with someone then have my dining room window facing their bathroom window, you know?

Also, our HOA implemented a lot of cost reduction measures (landscaping that required less water, among other things) and our HOA dues actually went down significantly this year. They were the same for 5 years previously (when the property was built). So, HOA dues are also not guaranteed to go up. I’d also look at what is included in HOA maintenance-wise, and look at the age of the property. Taking care of a lawn, snow removal, exterior maintenance, etc is not free in a single family home. It may be cheaper/easier to pay HOA dues in the long run instead of taking it all on yourself.

Post # 5
Member
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

we currentlly live in a small one bedroom apartment… but will be moving to a 2 bedroom townhouse in July … but, we will only be using it as a stepping stone to sve for a actual place to call home… so If you are ready for home ownership then id say go for it but, right now a town house is what we are finding right with us with our hectic work schedules and school loans to work on we do not have an asscoiation fee… but we have ridiculous pet fees … <br />Best of Luck !

Post # 6
Member
1194 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Most townhomes will handle outdoor maintenance like decks, repaving, and any other landscaping like tree removal or replanting. That also means you can’t really plant what you want if you’re into gardening. Some have restrictions about satellite dishes, if that’s a consideration for you.

Post # 8
Member
318 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Parking! Some town homes do not have much for visitors! Plus if you ever want to renovate, it can be harder to do! I personally would love a SFH to do whatever the heck I want plus I HAVE to have a yard! After renting a townhome, I wouldn’t want to own one! But some people love HOA and no yard work, so to eatch their own!

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  znowbird22.
Post # 9
Member
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

As a former townhome owner and a current single family homeowner, having someone else do your exterior maintenance is a huge benefit.  Yes, you have to pay hoa fees but the amount of time saved is quite a lot.  Also, exterior maintenance costs like new roofs, painting trim, leaf blowing, etc is most often covered by the HOA.  Those things get expensive.  As for no fenced area, I think that is dependent on the townhome.  Mine had a small fenced in yard.  And you also need to bear in mind that many single family neighborhoods will have hoa dues and restrictions on exterior decorations as well.  You just have to look at them on a case by case basis.  

I love our house but we have already decided that we will go back to a townhouse or condo in a few years.  We would rather spend our free time doing things we love than pulling weeds.  But we have no kids and don’t plan to have any so we don’t need a huge amount of space.

Post # 10
Member
8426 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I think it depends on your lifestyle and the HOA in question.  My husband and I have a SFH and we love it because we like taking care of our yard and working on our house.  However, growing our own vegetables and fruit is important to us.  We have friends that have a townhome and they love it because they don’t have to garden and they have a great HOA that takes care of a lot of things for them.  You just have to find what fits your particular set of needs in a home.

Post # 11
Member
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

con – poor resale value

Post # 12
Member
3045 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Con – spread of vermin (bed bugs in particular) and fire hazards.

 

 

Post # 13
Member
1349 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

Con – you only own the interior walls.

Post # 14
Member
2368 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’ve lived in both, but keep in mind that every HOA is different. Ours took care of the basic landscaping (if you wanted flowers, that was up to you, but lawn mowing and tree maintenance was taken care of). They also took care of the exterior of the townhomes. That included roof maintenance and exterior repainting as needed. Downside was that we didn’t have much choice. The house could be one of three colors, and the roof maintenance was on their schedule, not ours. Not a huge deal since they never came inside, but the noise was unpleasant. 

My parents LOVED living in theirs, because they didn’t have to lift a finger outside. They could have the container garden, without the hassle of snow removal and lawn mowing.

Check the real estate values too. Where we live, a detached single family was a better choice for holding value, since there is currently a 9 month inventory available for townhomes and condos.

Post # 15
Member
7281 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

My first house was a townhome and I did my own snow removal, so townhome = snow removal is not an automatic assumption.

Pro-

  1. It was less square footage, so I could clean it much more quickly
  2. Barely any yard to mow. 20 minutes and done!
  3. Had awesome neighbor on one side who made the best margarita cake known to mankind, and she liked to share.
  4. Real “community” feel in the beginning of living there
  5. Easy to rent out after you move
  6. Fewer windows, smaller roof = less expensive house maintenance and repairs
  7. Can be lower utility bills if new, energy efficient appliances are used

Cons-

  1. Walls thin enough that my neighbor’s 5am alarm woke me most days
  2. No room to escape from being around people
  3. Other neighbor constantly watched my comings and going, and was free with her commentary on them
  4. Lots of people in a small area = more property crime. vehicles broken into 3 times.
  5. Much more noisy outside
  6. Much more traffic
  7. Difficulty parking (had a parking pad for 1 vehicle, but owned 2)
  8. Nowhere to pile the snow
  9. Resale value not so good (I’m stuck owning it because of the property value drop, see rental comment above.)
  10. Eventually the owners all move away, leaving renters behind and increasing the likelihood of not having good, stable neighbors who take care of their ish, which contributes to neighborhood slide, which increases crime, which decreases value. It’s a rather vicious circle.
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