The difference between a townhouse and a house is might seem obvious due to the difference in size.
However, looking at a property isn’t that shallow. Once you reach the end of this guide, you’ll understand…
- The advantages and disadvantages of being homeowners of either property.
- Which is worth buying
- Which is the better option for you
What’s the Difference Between Townhouses and Single Family Houses?
Two things: LAYOUT and SQUARE FOOTAGE.
A townhouse is typically smaller than a house. Let’s dive deeper below.
Basic pointers to note:
- A townhouse is typically much narrower, has multiple floors, and share walls with other townhomes.
- Townhouses, also known as row houses, are narrow, multilevel houses that are attached to other residences.
- They come with a small patio, front yard, or backyard most of the time.
As a townhouse homeowner, you would own both the structure and the land it sits on. This includes the front yard or backyard areas.
Do note though, that townhouses are governed by a homeowner’s association (HOA), similar to living in a condo.
So you should expect to pay some sort of HOA fee. The fees should cover maintenance of the complexes and any amenities or common spaces that townhome owners can enjoy.
Some townhouse communities may come with a swimming pool, fitness center, or other amenities. Sometimes, services such as lawn care are provided as well, which is something you can’t get with free-standing homes.
Single Family Homes
When people think of owning a house, what comes to mind is normally a single-family home. This is also…
- A free-standing house, typically on a plot of land that also belongs to the owner of the house.
- Unlike townhouses, it comes in all styles, layouts, and sizes, from ranch style to an expansive estate.
- Most of the time, it’s bigger than a townhouse, so you’ll have more space to work with.
- A house has more spacious land, usually a bigger front yard or backyard.
Unlike townhomes, you have to take care of your property by yourself. If you want any amenities like a pool or a gym, then you’ll have to install it on your own.
Townhouse Vs House: Pros and Cons
Deciding between the two types of real estate depends on your budget, lifestyle, desired location, and home maintenance habits. So think about what’s important to you before you make a decision.
Here is a list of pros and cons to help make things clearer.
Pros of a Townhouse
Because of the HOA fees you pay, exterior maintenance is covered, which includes repairs. This means less maintenance to think about!
Townhouses sometimes come with amenities, like a pool or a gym, sometimes even tennis courts. These might be things you’re interested in. The best part is, common area maintenance is covered!
Thanks to common areas, you’re in closer proximity to other residents in your complex. This is great if you prefer a community setting.
Cons of a Townhouse
Rules and Regulations
If you want to do renovations to your house, you need the approval from your townhouse community.
HOA rules are pretty strict, so you’ll have to take note of this. Even if you want to add Halloween or Christmas decorations, you’ll need approval.
If you have a unique vision for your home, townhomes may not be for you.
You share exterior walls with your neighbors, so you could end up hearing quite a bit of noise.
In addition, they’re normally located in close proximity to urban areas, which means it tends to be noisier.
Pros of a Single Family Home
When you own a free-standing house, you have the ability to do just about anything you want with it, as long as you follow local ordinances and zoning laws.
You have the freedom to paint, renovate, and decorate as you please!
You tend to get a lot of space in detached homes! There are more rooms, storage, and not to mention more outdoor space!
Having a house with more space is ideal for bigger or growing families. If you plan on raising a big family, you may want to lean toward this option (or in my case, enough space for a home gym).
Since you’re not sharing a wall with your neighbor, it’s quieter. You won’t be sharing any amenities or communal spaces as well. Alone time isn’t hard to find.
If you want more privacy, you can build a fence or use landscaping to separate you from your neighbors.
Cons of a Single Family Home
While you don’t have to pay any association dues, you are fully in charge of maintenance.
This means if you need repairs done, you’re fully accountable. And if any renovations are needed, you’re in charge of that too.
Houses tend to cost more money than townhouses.
Fewer Location Options
Your choices are limited, as most houses are normally located out in the suburbs. If you want to live in a city, you’ll most likely find a townhouse.
Townhouse Vs. House: Which Is the Better Investment Property?
If you want to buy properties for investment, LOCATION matters more than the style of the house. If you plan to rent it out, go for a place near where a lot of people would be.
A good example would be school districts.
Do note too, that houses tend to appreciate better, meaning they generally have better resale value.
Both make great choices for investing, it depends on what exactly you plan to do with your investment!
Which One is for Me?
Get a Townhome if…
- You want something that eases the responsibility of ownership
- You live alone or with a small family
- You have a limited budget
Get a House if…
- You want more space and privacy
- You have a big family
- You want the freedom to do a lot of renovations
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Townhouses Better Than Single Family Homes?
It depends on the individual. While a townhouse is cheaper, a house is more spacious. Both properties come with their advantages and disadvantages.
- A townhouse IS better suited for families with one child, or none at all. It’s also a great option for someone who lives alone and doesn’t want to maintain an entire house on their own.
- That being said, a single-family home is great for families with at least two children, or someone who wants more privacy and space.
Is It Worth Buying a Townhouse?
In short, yes! It’s a great option for investment and is also great as a home if you don’t have a big family and have a minimal budget!
We wouldn’t recommend it though for big families to live in. So take into account your needs. Townhouse owners tend to be single, or have small families.
Is It Easier to Buy a Townhouse Than a Single Family House?
Typically, yes. This is because townhouses tend to cost less than houses. They are also easier to maintain since it is handled by the homeowners association.
Whether you have a big family, prefer privacy, the amount of space you need, and your budget should all affect your choice.
We listed down all the pros and cons of both options, it is up to you now to decide which is meant for you!
Hopefully, this article helped you to come to a decision!