WHAT IS A TOWNHOME?

What is a townhome? Does the word “townhome” ring a bell? Let me take you back a century or two, where an individually owned townhome was referred to as royalty’s multi-floor residence that was often spotted lining the streets of 19th century England.

Both then & today, a townhome depicts architecture with vertical floors, where you share common walls with your neighbours. Owning a townhome signifies owning the house and the land on which it stands. 

Though Townhomes are often built with an eye-catching exterior design that is uniformly constructed in a line, nowadays, townhouses are not trending as they did back in the day.

Let Waverly Homes walk you through the answer to the question “what is a townhome?”

Merits and Demerits of a Townhome

Let’s take a look at the pros & cons of owning a townhome:

Advantages:

Cost-Effective

Comparing a townhome with a regular house in terms of monetary value and square foot area, a townhouse is much easier on the family budget. Given the same square foot area, a townhouse will be relatively less expensive than a traditional house.

If you do not have any privacy concerns about sharing walls with the neighbours, then a townhouse might be the ideal accommodation, cost-wise.

Easy to Maintain

Since the size of a townhouse is smaller than a traditional house, it covers less square space and, therefore easier to maintain.

Outdoor Space

Townhouses often have outdoor spaces such as a patio, a small backyard, and a private garage that come in handy when hosting small gatherings.

Disadvantages: 

Proximity

The proximity to your neighbours can make your lifestyle just a little less private; you can hear noises from your neighbours, increasing the noise pollution in your house, which works both ways. Privacy is a significant concern with townhouses.

Multiple Floors

The vertical architecture may not be suitable for many individuals, especially older people. They might find it hard to climb the stairs daily.

Valuable Tips for Buying a Townhouse

Here are some valuable tips for first-time home buyers to consider when searching for a new home:

Review Your Budget

budget when buying a townhome

Before buying a house, one must ensure they have calculated their budget thoroughly.

In some cases, you must consider both the house’s price and also any HOA payments, if applicable. In some scenarios, there can be monthly charges from your Homeowners Association.

In today’s world, the price of real estate is fluctuating up & down at a dizzying pace, so the price you might pay today for a townhouse may be very different the following year.

Therefore, it is essential to review your budget thoroughly to know the exact scope of your finances before making any big purchases.

Your Needs Regarding The Community

When buying any house, one must look at the overall environment of the community at large. Who are your neighbours? What shared facilities are available? What security measures are in place?

For example, is the community secure and gated, and does the community have a shared pool alongside other facilities?

If applicable, one must also look into the Homeowners Association restrictions in the community to ensure that your living style aligns with any specific rules and restrictions. 

Have A Sound Check

Just like your favourite musicians, when buying a townhouse, you’re going to want to do a soundcheck to experience first-hand how noise is filtered and how much comes through from your neighbours on either side of you. If you go for a corner house, you will have half the noise compared to any centrally located townhouse.

Scan Common Areas

When buying a house, you not only look into the details and price of the home but also the facilities available near that area. For instance, is there a supermarket or park nearby?

Communicate With Your Neighbours

When choosing a townhouse, one should visit the neighbours’ houses to see what kind of folks you’ll share walls with. If you can gain a better sense of your neighbours, you will be in a better position to make the decision to live in that community or to keep looking!

Review HOA Rules

Review the Homeowner Association’s rules and regulations when moving to a townhouse. If these restrictions can be easily aligned with your lifestyle, only then opt for the townhouse.

Plan Ahead

While buying a townhouse, do long-term planning. This house may be suitable for your needs today but what about tomorrow?

Townhouses are more vertical in design with multiple stories; having small children and the elderly makes it challenging to live in a townhouse.

What Is A Townhouse In Canada?

In Canada, the term townhouse or townhome refers to a complex which shares its walls with one or two neighbours. A townhouse is vertical, having two or three floors.

Canada is popular in having townhouses among its traditional residences, including semi-detached, detached, condo townhomes, condominiums, bungalows, and split levels. 

townhouse in Canada

Townhouses in Canada have huge demand, which in turn has significantly increased their real estate value in 2021/2022. If your budget is a little tighter, a townhouse is an excellent choice of residence, as they are smaller, more reasonably priced, and easier to maintain.

As mentioned earlier, when you buy a townhouse, you own the structure and the land. 

The prices of townhouses increase by a certain percentage in Canada. Nowadays, the average cost of a townhome in Toronto, Ontario, is $946,151. Whereas the average price of a townhouse in London, Ontario only costs $692,187 as of March 2022. The price for new homes in Lucan may be lower depending on the neighborhood and the model you are looking at.

What Is The Difference Between A Townhouse And A Condo?

Many people are confused about whether condos and townhouses are similar. They are not. A condo is similar to an apartment, but in a condo, the resident owns the place instead of renting it from a landlord.

On the other hand, the townhome is also owned by its residents, but these units have shared walls with their neighbours. The likeness between the two is that their residents own both and are therefore perceived as the same.

The differentiating factor between a condo and a townhouse is their ownership and pricing. When you buy a condo, you either buy it in joint ownership with other tenants or as a single-person unit.

In the case of joint ownership, you can have common facilities of pools, a gym, airspace, and grounds. While in a townhouse, you have a single-family unit sharing walls with other neighbours.

The HOA in a condo manages the interior and exterior of the building and the common grounds of the tenants/owners. While in a townhouse, HOA only operates the common facilities and exteriors of the building.

In both cases, HOA takes monthly payments from their tenants for their services.

The Final Word

Living in a townhouse is an ideal choice for a small family that wants and needs to manage their limited finances.

We hope this article helps you understand what is a townhome. Good luck with your house hunting!