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Debating Between a Townhome and a Single-Family House?

Posted by Victoria Macaskill

When buying a home, one of the fundamental questions you will ask yourself is whether you want a townhome or condo or a single family home. There are advantages and disadvantages to both and depending on your needs, one may be a better option for you than the other.


Consider the following when trying to decide between a townhome/condo and a single-family house:


  • Budget – Generally, townhomes and condos are less expensive than their single-family home counterparts. Because single-family houses are generally bigger than condos and townhomes, the heating and air conditioning bills will most likely be bigger as well. Determine your budget to help you decide what will be best for you financially.
  • Location – Do your research to make sure the location and neighborhood you’re looking at is safe and worth your investment. If you want to live in the heart of the city, a condo may be your best option.
  • Yard and Home Maintenance – Do you want a yard your children can play in with a garden you can maintain? Or would you rather not bother with a yard at all? When you own a house, you will be responsible for all the maintenance, so make sure that’s something you’re willing and able to take on. The bigger the property, the more it will cost to maintain. 
  • Privacy – In a townhome or condo, there’s a good chance that you will occasionally hear your neighbors, and they’ll occasionally hear you – no matter how well the home is built. You may have to share a hallway or back or front yard as well. If you want complete privacy, a single-family home may be the best option for you. However, if you find comfort in having close neighbors, consider a townhome or condo.
  • Homeowner Associations – Homeowner associations include fees and shared decision-making. They help keep neighborhoods clean and help maintain home values in the neighborhood. Most of the time, townhomes and condos are part of homeowners associations. You’ll need to decide if you’ll use the amenities you pay for with your HOA fees. If you want complete control of the decisions regarding your home, consider a single-family home.
  • Family Lifestyle – If you don’t have any children, or don’t plan to have children for a while, a townhome or condo can simplify your life and limit maintenance you’ll have to do on the home. If you want pets, many condos and townhomes don’t permit them, so do your homework.
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