Townhouses are an attractive choice for first home buyers and young couples because of the financial perks they offer. They are often cheaper than detached single houses and come with lower maintenance fees. But before you decide to move to a townhouse, take a step back and educate yourself about all the aspects of living in a townhouse. To help clarify things for you, here are 7 things you should consider before moving to a townhouse.
Can you afford it?
Townhouses are usually a cheaper housing option than stand alone houses. Therefore, they’re a favorite among younger families and first-time home buyers who are looking for a smart investment. You can expect a townhouse to cost you tens of thousands of dollars less than a detached home. However, what you might not be aware of are the monthly fees that go towards maintaining common grounds and amenities. Make sure you ask your real estate agent how much these fees are and what exactly they cover. This way you won’t be surprised with any hidden fees later on. Calculate your mortgage payment and maintenance fees to see if you can actually afford the move.
Will you have privacy?
Another issue many homebuyers may have with townhouses is the lack of privacy. Close proximity to neighbors, thin walls and shared outdoors spaces can be enough to deter some from choosing a townhouse as their new home. Although townhouses have separate entrances, you can’t really enjoy the outdoor spaces as you would in a detached house. You’ll most likely see and hear your neighbors throughout the day – on multiple occasions. Do a complete rundown of the exterior of the townhouse and outdoor spaces to see if this kind of living is something you’re comfortable with.
What about maintenance?
Since townhouses are maintained by a community homeowners’ association you are expected to pay for the upkeep of common areas on a monthly or annual basis. Make sure you check the fee schedule before you move so you know where your money is headed.
Is the location right for you?
Generally, townhouses are located in urban areas within close proximity to amenities such as restaurants, shopping centers, public transport and schools. Living in a townhouse means you have the city location you desire, but without the hefty price tag of a detached house in the same area.
Will your furniture fit?
Don’t expect to receive huge square footage in a townhouse. If you own a lot of things you should make an inventory and see whether all your furniture will fit inside. Also, keep in mind that townhouses usually have narrow staircases, so you might have difficulty carrying bulky items such as couches, refrigerators and mattresses without damaging them. Enlist the help of a professional moving company and avoid any harm coming to your belongings or your interior.
Are you familiar with the rules?
Acquaint yourself with the community’s rules prior to moving in. The list of rules differ from place to place, but the most common rules encompass the use of common spaces, noise levels, parking areas and whether or not pets are allowed. Get your hands on the homeowners’ association handbook to see what your rights are as a townhouse occupant.
Is the construction new?
It’s best to choose a townhouse construction that is new. Newer constructions means they are built using better building materials, are energy efficient and have great sound insulation. However, just to be on the safe side, get a professional to inspect the construction. This will determine whether there are any major renovations that need to be done.