Q&A - Should I Buy Town Home or Single Family Home?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Dawn Brenengen - Trailwood Realty 202789

Question - I'm getting ready to move to a new area, and I want to buy a house.  I rented a town home once before, and I really loved it.  However, I think a single family home might be cool too. Which should I buy?8408 Saltwood

Answer - Both styles have their pros and cons.  In a town home, you are typically responsible for the interior of the home, and the Home Owners Association (HOA) takes care of the exterior and landscaping.  In exchange, you pay a higher HOA fee for this care.  The pro is there is obviously less maintenance for the individual homeowner to worry about, but the cons are you have less control over what happens to the exterior of the building.  The HOA can spend money on things that you might not have, and they can charge special assessments when there is not enough money in reserves to cover expenditures.  There is typically less privacy in a town home because the units are attached.

You have a bit more autonomy in a single family home.  You can decide what to repair and when to repair it, although if you live in a neighborhood with an HOA, they may send you letters if they think you have let things go.  I've gotten a few for trim paint needing to be redone, flower beds needing mulch, etc. The HOA dues are usually lower because they are not responsible for any upkeep on your property. This means you need to save up to replace your own roof when the time comes!  You should have a little more privacy in a single family home.  Since there are no shared walls and a little space between you and your neighbor, you should have less noise and interruption. 143 ryder cup

Townhomes are usually a little lower priced than single family homes. If you want the latest finishes and more square footage, a townhome may be a better bet.  Single family homes usually appreciate faster, so for investment purposes, buy single family if you can.

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Dawn Brenengen

Broker/Owner of Trailwood Realty, LLC

Buy. Sell. Invest.


Comments (4)

Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I think you are correct that there are pros and cons to both. It is important to see what fits best with the person's lifestyle and budget.

Jan 04, 2015 11:50 AM
Dawn Brenengen
Dawn Brenengen - Trailwood Realty - Raleigh, NC
Sales and Management

Indeed!  If you hate yardwork, don't buy a home that sits on an acre, right Joan Whitebook ?!

Jan 04, 2015 12:40 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Great advice Dawn.  It's important for buyers to look at the resale documents so they understand what the responsibilities of both the owner and the association.

Jan 04, 2015 12:55 PM
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

When I first moved to Raleigh my wife and I first rented an apartment (which we hated), then a town home (which we hated somewhat less), then decided to buy a home once we decided that we wanted to set in some roots.


While it is true that a single family home comes with exterior maintainance requirements, many of those can be contracted out if you don't want to do them yourselves, whereas, there really isn't much you can do about your neighbors when you share walls with them.


Therefore, if I had never lived in a town home, I would probably rent one to see how much the sharing of walls bothers me.


Just my two cents worth (and yes, I used that term before the Food Lion Lion did!).



Jun 05, 2015 12:54 AM