Monday, May 12, 2014

4 drawbacks of living in a townhouse

Whether you plan to buy or rent a home, there are several property types you can choose from. You could opt for a condominium unit, a townhouse or a single-detached house. These are the general types of homes you may encounter on the market and living in each home has its own benefits and trade-offs. 

Compared to single-detached homes, where you can have a full garden spanning the front, side and back of your house, a townhouse usually has outdoor areas in front and at the back only.

However, if you’re thinking of living in a townhouse, you should consider its drawbacks before committing to buying or renting the property. 

1. Lack of privacy

Townhouses are usually attached to another unit on one or both sides of the property and they typically share walls too. This type of structure makes for a lack of privacy. Shared walls make for increased noise. If the townhouse has a backyard, the proximity of the next unit also means that neighbors can see part of your backyard. 

2. Association dues

Townhouses are typically part of a homeowners association. The association is in charge of all common areas and facilities in the residential community. Facilities may include swimming pools, gyms, basketball courts and parks. Maintenance of these facilities and common areas such as roads and street lamps also fall under the homeowners association’s responsibilities. Some communities also have security around the neighborhood. Being part of a homeowners association has some benefits, but these also come at a cost. Monthly dues are collected per unit. The amount may depend on the size of your property. 

3. Limits on home additions

Another drawback of living in a townhouse and being part of a homeowners association are the rules and restrictions on home additions. Townhouses are typically built with a uniform look and layout, and as such, associations are strict on maintaining the look of the neighborhood. Living in a townhouse may mean you have limited freedom to renovate your home. 

4. Small outdoor areas

Compared to single-detached homes, where you can have a full garden spanning the front, side and back of your house, a townhouse usually has outdoor areas in front and at the back only. Some don’t even have any outdoor areas at all. If you enjoy hosting barbeques, gardening, or doing other outdoor activities, this may be a disadvantage. 


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