Read any articles about real estate these days and chances are the skyrocketing prices of single-family homes will be discussed. Of course, it is not only single-family homes that have risen. After all, the tide rises all boats. Therefore, we have also seen a rise in the multi-family sector of the market as well. As a result of these higher prices and other affordability challenges, it is common to see buyers dip into less expensive markets and sectors of the market. Although we have seen a cooling off in the demand for housing in the recent months, persistently high prices combined with higher mortgage interest rates are leading more buyers to consider less expensive alternatives. In many cases, buyers that were initially looking for single-family homes are now opting for less expensive townhouses instead. Below, we discuss the pros and cons of buying a townhouse.
The pros of buying a townhouse
- Affordability: Townhouses are typically less expensive than single-family homes. In general, townhouses are smaller and sit on smaller lots. This leads to reduced maintenance upkeep and lower costs that are split among several homeowners.
- Additional amenities: Oftentimes, a townhouse community will have a clubhouse, community pool, and possibly other outdoor recreation activities such as tennis, basketball, walking trails, or a fitness center.
- Minimal maintenance: Typically, townhouse communities belong to a homeowner’s association (HOA) and included in the HOA dues are the general maintenance for the community. This allows the homeowners to not have to worry about maintaining a yard, pool, or other items.
- A social & close knit environment: Given the proximity to your neighbors, townhouses offer the opportunity to have a close knit community feel. In addition, oftentimes associations will organize social events such pool parties, barbecues, and seasonal celebrations as other opportunities to meet your neighbors.
The cons of buying a townhouse
- Less space: Of course, you can expect to sacrifice on space when buying a townhouse as compared to a single-family home. Typically, this not only includes indoor living space but also outdoor yard space as well.
- Potentially restrictive rules: As with any community governed by a HOA, you will want to pay close attention to the rules and regulations. These may include restrictions on pet breed or size, car type, and even landscaping. It is critically important that you are well versed in the various HOA rules and regulations prior to buying a townhouse.
- Less privacy: Although the close proximity to your neighbors can have some social advantages, it can also equate to a lack of privacy. Given the fact that you are sharing walls with neighbors, it is possible that their daily habits may be disruptive.
As with any home purchase, it is extremely important that you are well versed on the various costs associated with a townhouse purchase. In addition to the HOA fees that you will be responsible for paying, you will want to know the overall financial well-being of the association. Is the association well run? Does the association have adequate financial reserves for any unexpected expenses? Is there a special assessment expected in the near future? As always, a local and knowledgeable real estate agent will be able to guide you throughout this process. If you are in the South Florida market, be sure to contact Natasha Moore at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! You will also want to download the free Florida Home Search App to better streamline your home search.