What Is a Townhouse?

A couple and their dog sit outside their new townhouse.

A townhouse is a home that shares one or two of its walls with another structure, and usually has multiple levels. Townhouses often are built in rows in more urban areas, and are owned individually despite sharing at least one wall with another structure.

Townhouses combine aspects of living in a condo and living in a single-family house. They usually offer more space and control than a condo, and are more affordable than a detached home.

Townhouses often are part of a homeowners association that collects fees from a community of homes to pay for shared services and amenities. Owners are responsible for all internal and — unlike condo owners — external maintenance.

How Much Does a Townhouse Cost?

The price for a townhouse will depend on the location, building, and type of townhouse.

Townhouses typically cost more than condos, but are more affordable than single-family homes. The monthly cost of owning a townhouse can be similar to renting, but with the added benefit of building equity.

Costs of Buying a Townhouse

Upfront costsRecurring costs
Down payment.
Closing costs.
– Monthly mortgage payment.
– Homeowners insurance.
– Property taxes.
– HOA fees.
– Interior and exterior maintenance.
– Utilities.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Townhouse

Buying a townhouse comes with benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to consider the trade-offs.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Townhouse

Pros Cons
– More space and privacy than a condo.
– Can include some HOA amenities with lower fees compared with a condo.
– Some outdoor space.
– Usually is more affordable than a house.
– Freedom to make interior and exterior changes.
– Monthly costs can be similar to renting while you build equity.
– Less space and privacy than a house.
– Must pay HOA fees and follow its rules.
– Usually is more expensive than a condo.
– Often has a lower resale value than a house.
– More responsibility than condos when it comes to maintenance and repairs.

Is a Townhouse Right for You?

Townhouses often are seen as a middle ground between condos and single-family homes. Townhouses can be a great option for homebuyers who are looking for more space than a condo, but want to live in the central, urban locations where townhouses commonly are found.

Couples who are looking to downsize but still want some outdoor space may find a townhouse is the right fit for them.

Townhouse FAQ

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about buying a townhouse.

Are townhouses a good investment?

Because townhouses are more affordable than single-family homes, they can provide first-time homebuyers a chance to get into the market and to start building equity sooner. However, townhouses do not appreciate in value as quickly or as reliably as single-family houses.

Why is it called a townhouse?

The term “townhouse” comes from England, where it was used to describe a home that a wealthy family from the countryside kept in the city. Though the term is used more broadly now, townhouses are commonly found in urban areas.

Related Articles:

Light bulb

Ready for more learning?

Here’s some other helpful articles

Advertising Disclosure

Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in editorial content are of the author alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the advertiser. We make every effort to provide up-to-date information, however we do not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented. Consumers should verify terms and conditions with the institution providing the products. Articles may contain some sponsored content, content about affiliated entities, or content about clients in the network.

Editorial Note

itsHome, a LMB Mortgage Services, Inc. company, is compensated by third-party advertisers, however, any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in editorial content are of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the advertiser. While reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information, the information is presented without warranty.