Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | September 24, 2010

There is Always an Alternative

In decades past, everyone dreamed of owning the stand-alone, single-family home with the big back yard and the white picket fence. But now the real estate market is more complicated, and new options abound. One alternative to buying a single-family home is to purchase a townhome. And there are several advantages to townhome living that might make it the perfect option for you.

A townhome is also known as a townhouse or a rowhouse. It’s traditionally a several-story home that is attached to other dwellings on one or more sides, and generally sits on a small parcel of land. But what’s so special about them?

1. Less Exterior Maintenance. Because a townhome is attached to another dwelling on one or more sides, the amount of exterior maintenance is sometimes drastically reduced. If you only have to deal with siding on the front and back of the building, that takes a lot of burden off your budget and saves you time to boot. Moreover, because your townhome’s front and back yard are likely to be very small, you won’t have much yard work to do. You may not even need to own a lawnmower – for some yards, a weed whacker will do. And if you add a deck or a patio onto the back of your townhome, you’ll have even less yard to take care of.

2. Better Security. Because neighbors are close by, it’s more difficult for a burglar to break into your townhome unnoticed. A criminal can’t really case your townhome without someone in the neighborhood knowing – after all, he could be casing all their houses. The proximity of townhomes brings neighbors together to protect each other and to be available when say, you lock your keys in the house and need to make a phone call.

3. Community Amenities. Typically, in a townhome community of any size, neighbors pool together home owner association fees to pay for tennis courts, pools, fitness centers and more. This could save you a lot of money at the gym, or give you more fitness and entertainment options than your budget would normally allow.

4. No neighbors above or below you. Although some new designs have come out that stack townhomes on top of one another, these homes are more rightly known as condos. Traditional townhomes provide you with the security of knowing that no one is living above or below you. You won’t be woken up by footsteps overhead, and you don’t have to worry about tippy-toeing across the floor at night.

5. More House for the Money. If square footage is important to you, you’ll generally be able to afford more of it in a townhome than you would in a similarly located single-family, stand alone home. The reason for this, of course, is the small amount of actual property your townhome occupies. Because townhomes are three, sometimes even four stories tall, builders are able to cram a lot of living space between those four walls. Townhome builders now ingeniously design compact stairways and efficient hallways to give you the most square footage possible. The end result is usually a much more convenient, open, and spacious living space than you could otherwise afford.

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