Is A Townhouse For You?by Kirsten Hawkins
With the huge variety of real estate choices on the market today, many people aren't even clear on what a townhouse is, much less whether or not it's the right choice for them. So what, exactly, is a townhouse?
A townhouse, also called a rowhouse, is actually very much the same thing as a condominium, with one technical difference. Both are housing units that are physically attached to other units on either side- thus the name rowhouse, since they stand in a row. But in a condominium, the land the houses stand on is owned by someone else. A townhouse, on the other hand, means that the person living in the home owns the land it is sitting upon.
Townhouses can be single or multiple stories. Each townhouse has a small patch of yard or perhaps a patio in the back or front, and the lawns are divided equally among the houses. This is a definite advantage over apartment living, where many housing units are in the same structure and thus there is no property division on the ground. Townhouses can be grouped into pairs as a duplex, or in larger groups that form a main complex. Townhouse owners are generally required to keep up their own section of lawn, and may be required to pitch into maintenance of any common areas as well.
So who benefits most from this style of living? For many people, the idea of living in an apartment grows old quickly. Having neighbors above, below, and around you can be tiresome; the lack of a yard is also a drawback. However, many people either cannot afford or do not wish to own a single family dwelling. Townhouses give buyers the option to own a house that is still part of a housing community.
Townhouses are ideal for the elderly, or for young families just starting out. The mutual walls give a sense of security, although of course there is also a loss of privacy. Having a small patch of yard to tend, rather than a full lot, can be a blessing for those who are unable to tend a full yard. A townhouse can be a great starter home for young couples with children.
Of course, because a townhouse is indeed part of a housing community, there are rules which homeowners must agree to follow. Often townhouses are subject to the rules of housing associations, which limit decorations and modifications that can be made to houses or yards. Many townhouse communities prefer to present a unified front, and changes must be approved before they can be made.
For those who are interested in a community style of living but do not wish to remain in an apartment, a townhouse can be an excellent substitute. Townhouse living is available in all kinds of neighborhoods and in many different styles all over the United States. From brownstones in New York to vinyl sided dwellings in Nebraska, town homes are available at all levels and offer the homebuyer a whole new range of options.
About the Author
Kirsten Hawkins is a real estate expert from Nashville, TN. Visit http://www.king-of-real-estate.com/ for more information on real estate, mortgages, and finding the house of your dream.