What Is a Townhouse?

By
FACT-CHECKED
Published Sept. 28, 2022
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.

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