(Closed) Pros and Cons of Townhome vs. Single Family Home

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 16
Member
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I finally sold my townhome and dont think id go that route til retirement age.

Cons:

loud noise

not a lot of extra parking for guests

more petty crime bc of packages left at doorstep is wide open and lots of houses make for easy targets (had 3 go missing)

leak hazard… We had to have sprinklers to protect neighbors from fire but when one of mine was leaking i could only find one company to fix which was frustrating and expensive

leak hazard two: if neighbors dont keep their roof up to code, you could get water damage ( like i had)

Stairs Make moving in large things difficult

 

 

Post # 17
Member
776 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

The thing that always scared me with owning a townhouse is the fact that they decide what the fees are and they can change at anytime. Also I have heard horror stories of people having to shell out thousands just to pay for a roof/fix some things. I am definately pro single house home if possible!

Post # 18
Member
10635 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

Not all townhomes have condo fees, so sometimes the owners are responsible for everything.  That can be frustrating if something like the roof needs reshingling – trying to organize that with others.

In those cases the pros would be cost and the ability to meet some people pretty quickly.

The cons would be lack of privacy, a smaller space, issues if anything does need a reno or repairs, and problems with being close to the neighbours like smoking, parties in the yard, etc.

 

Post # 19
Member
10357 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I would also point out that in large urban areas like where we live, townhomes don’t have lower resale value. It’s entirely dependant on the market, which we can’t read for you, but condos and townhomes are more the norm where we live (houses are more suburban which appeals to a different kind of buyer, or in my immediate neighborhood, are actually smaller than the townhomes we live in).

Another poster mentioned smoking – smoking is banned in multi-unit residential areas where we live, so that wasn’t a factor for us. Our units are basically soundproof, so again, parties aren’t an issue.

Post # 20
Member
1019 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

View original reply
crayfish:  I am so looking forward to the boomers aging and wanting to get into stairless condos and bungalows. Chachinggggg!

RE noise: due to soundproofing between party walls, our condo is actually quieter than the houses I lived in prior, bnoth new builds and older homes – neither compare. 

The biggest townhouse con for me would be the stairs and how they usually make me feel claustro with tall and skinny design. Otoh they give you a more house-y feel than a condo without the maintenance involved in a house. Some come with garages, which would be nice. 

Pros for both townhouses and condos are the (usual) lack of outdoor maintenance. Even my balcony is covered and they get window and pressure washers in yearly. 

There is a guy around here who lets his big dog piss and shit all over his balcony which is disgusting, so there is a big con…but then I’ve had single family house neighbours who also let their yards build up with dog shit – yech. Thank god I do no live on the same side as that guy, or below him! ewwww

Biggest condo pro for me: heated underground parking. I would never be able to afford to heat my garage to any comfortable temperature if I had a house or townhouse. This is BIG for me in Canada, makes the mornings so much easier plus it’s way easier on the car.

Post # 21
Member
8011 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Obviously town homes must be different in different areas because we live in a town home and have no HOA and have a fenced in back yard.  I have owned 2 single family homes and I have to say I am happiest here.    We are very lucky in that we have great neighbors- so obviously that helps.

Post # 22
Member
2 posts
Wannabee

Find out if there are any fines especially if you have kids .. your be amazed how expensive it can be when your soccer ball winds up in a neighbor’s yard

Post # 23
Member
1087 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Lived in a SFH and an apartment, so I can only give pros/cons to the home. 

Snow removal, weeding, lawn care was all a hassle. If a hoa fee was low and took care of those, it’d be worth it. We got fined by the town for having our grass grow too long (about 3-4 inches tall) once. 

Apartment was actually quieter as the windows were newer and the walls thicker. Even though neighbors were 30 yards a way in house, still was louder. 

Cost a lot more to heat and cool the house, even at similar footage.

 Taxes go up as well in SFH, and you can’t argue those either much. Even though we voted no, school bond got approved and our taxes increased. 

 

Post # 24
Member
1243 posts
Bumble bee

If you go the route of SFH, you could always hire a landscaping company to handing snow removal, mowing, etc. That’s what my mom did. We have a SFH and purposefully got one with no basement and is all one level. Made moving a breeze, will allow us to stay in our home longer as we age since we don’t have to deal with stairs, and if one of us gets sick, again because of no stairs, it makes it easier to care for the other person. 

Post # 25
Member
5940 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

View original reply
howtobeawife:  Did you decide yet?? I’m on Team Single Family Dwelling. I’ve lived in both and really it’s a matter of what you want out of your living situation, but I LOVE having a house. No.shared.walls. I just remembered I could hear the guy snoring who lived on the other side of my wall! Thank goodness he didn’t have a girlfriend! Lol! I owned a townhome where the HOA put in all new roofs. Guess what? We had a HUGE leak in one bedroom and multiple leaks in others. Sure they eventually came to fix them, but they never got rid of any wet, rotting wood in the attic. So it may be covered in the dues, but that also means you don’t get a choice who does the work for you. I just love my little, old, needs work house. I let the dogs out the back door into the fenced yard. It’s worth more in resale. I can put whatever I want out on my front door and front yard. Etc etc etc.

Post # 26
Member
910 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Pros (for us) of owning our particular townhouse:

-Association dues pay for the pool, hot tub, gym, sauna, exterior landscaping, etc.

-Security: gated complex, so no one can just walk up to our door/garage with the ease of walking up to a house

-Cheaper than a SFH

 

For us, a townhouse was the only thing we could afford in our area (Los Angeles), and is a great first home!

Post # 27
Member
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Keep in mind nearly all of the pros cons listed here don’t apply if you own your th in fee simple. if you own a th fee simple, there are very few differences between a th and a sfh. you would own the interior and exterior walls (as well as the land your th is on), be responsible for all maintanance, and have a minimal or no association fee.  So for me (owning in fee simple), the pros are a lot more square feet for the $, saved costs by sharing outdoor maintance costs with our neighboring units. Con is no yard. 

Post # 28
Member
9834 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

If the costs between the two are similar, I personally would definitely go for the SFH. Yard maintenance and snow removal can be annoying, but it’s worth it for the additional privacy IMO. You could always hire someone to do it as well.

Post # 29
Member
20 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Wish i had seen this thread yesterday! I posted a similar one and there is a lot of great input here!

We currently live in a townhouse but are looking in to a SFH…

Pros for my townhouse are that it is HUGE! It will be years before i can afford a SFH this big! Another pro is that its pretty new which means we never really have to shell out money to fix anything and we do have a fenced in yard and great neighbors! 

The cons are that while the yard is fenced in it is very small, the shared walls is slightly annoying…i can never hear voices from our neighbors but i do occassionally hear noises like them running down the stairs or bumping in to something. Our HOA sucks, it doesnt cost much ($30 per month) but they only cover the landscaping in the development and you are responsible for taking care of the small amount of property you own and they do not remove snow! 

I love our townhouse but am starting to lean towards a SFH…I think i just want something thats 100% ours 🙂

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by  fiona2011.
Post # 30
Member
1110 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Like PP have mentioned, it depends on your lifestyle, neighborhood, and HOA.

We currently live in a townhouse and it suits our needs perfectly.  We live in a large planned community with a mix of apartments, condos, townhomes, and SFH and while everyone pays HOA fees, condos and certain townhomes pay a Condo fee.

Pros:

  • Our condo fee includes snow removal, lawn and exterior maintenance, and any exterior damage.
  • I feel safer knowing that my neighbors are in close proximity and even though we share a wall (we live in an end unit), I’ve never heard a peep from them.
  • Square footage is large enough for the two of us, our dog, and future kid, but small enough to be easily cleaned and maintained.
  • Being in our preferred neighborhood. We lived with our friends in another townhome in the same neighborhood prior to buying ours, and we absolutely fell in love with the community.  It’s a very desirable area to live in and there was just no way we could afford to buy a SFH.

Cons:

  • Our particular townhouse doesn’t have a yard (although some other models in our neighborhood have one)
  • We only have a 1 car garage (although again, some other models have 2)
  • Terminology may differ depending on the region, but our townhouse was considered a “condo” and we ended up putting down 25% to get a better mortgage rate because of that. Quote from a home guide article – “Conventional mortgage rates will only be the same for a condominium as for a house if the loan amount is below 75 percent of the property value. In practice, that means that a buyer of a condo needs to make a 25 percent down payment to get the best mortgage rates, while a buyer of a house with good credit usually only needs to make a 20 percent down payment. With less than a 25 percent down payment, a buyer of a condo can expect to pay an eighth to a quarter percent higher interest rate than a buyer of a single-family house.”

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