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When trying to decide between a regular single family house and a townhouse, there are many things one must consider. Are you looking for a house with lots of charm or are you looking for something with a modern look? Do you want a big yard and a beautiful garden or would you prefer not to get your hands dirty?\n

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townhouse vs single family home which is right

Townhouse vs Single Family Home: Which is Right for You?

When trying to decide between a regular single family house and a townhouse, there are many

things one must consider. Are you looking for a house with lots of charm or are you looking for

something with a modern look? Do you want a big yard and a beautiful garden or would you

prefer not to get your hands dirty?

In many cases, choosing what kind of home to purchase comes down to your lifestyle needs

and personal preferences, but it’s still never an easy decision. To help you find the place that’s

right for you, we have broken down some of the key pros and cons to consider when choosing

between a townhome and a house.

TOWNHOUSE

Why this option might be a good fit for you:

Low-maintenance: Many townhomes are governed by Homeowners’ Associations that

assume responsibility for exterior maintenance including snow removal, landscaping,

repairs, and cosmetic upkeep.

Cost: Townhomes are generally less expensive than detached homes. As an added

bonus, they also often offer updated features like stainless steel appliances, hardwood

floors, and granite countertops.

Security: With neighbours in close proximity, townhomes offer a unique sense of

security. It is especially comforting when you go out of town to know that your

neighbours will be there to keep watch over your space.

Amenities: Many come with amenities including parks, swimming pools, tennis courts,

and more. These common areas are maintained by the Homeowners’ Association and

their use is included in your fees.

Things to consider:

Privacy: Townhomes are essentially homes with shared walls. This is something to

consider if you enjoy loud music or if you are frequently entertaining guests.

Uniformity: Many townhomes have a distinct exterior look that does not vary among

the units. The yards, maintained by the Homeowners’ Association, will also generally

follow suit. Many developments have a list of restrictions as to what you can and cannot

do to change the interior of the townhouse as well.

Storage: Most townhomes will not offer much in the way of storage. If you have a lot of

stuff, you may need to consider renting a storage locker.

Yard: Townhomes typically have a small backyard space, which is in close proximity to

the neighbouring unit. This is something to consider if you enjoy a large yard or if you

have a dog that requires space.

single family home

SINGLE FAMILY HOME

Why this option might be a good fit for you:

Higher re-sale value: According to a recent study by the Canadian Real Estate

Association, the average price of a Canadian home increased in 2013 by 10.4 per

cent. The ability to modify and improve your residence with renovations and

additions is a strong selling feature for the single family home. You also have the

freedom to enhance the exterior with landscaping and other more major

improvements.

Privacy: There really is no better form of privacy than having a space to call your

own. When you purchase a single family home, you own the land it is on and the

ground beneath it. You also have the option to fence in your property for

additional privacy.

Space: Detached homes offer the space and ability to accommodate a growing

family or entertain a group of friends. Most single family homes come with a

substantial property which allows space for a deck, BBQ, and outdoor

entertaining.

Character: Many single family homes were built decades or even centuries ago,

offering homeowners a rich sense of history and character that you can’t find in

the newer developments.

Things to consider:

Repair costs: With age and character come repairs. If your new single family

house is of the older variety, make sure you have some extra money in the bank

to handle any repairs that might arise. Some common problems with older

homes include poor insulation, drafty windows, and weathered roof shingles.

repairs to the exterior of the house or interior

Repairs to the exterior of the house, or interior issues like heating, plumbing,

electrical, and any other small thing that pops up will be your responsibility.

General maintenance: When you own a single family home, you are also

responsible for the property that comes along with it. This includes regular

upkeep like snow removal, raking the leaves, and gardening.

Living space: While older single family dwellings offer character, not all of them

work for today’s way of living. It’s not uncommon for older houses to have a few

small and strangely located bathrooms or tiny closed-off kitchens. Newer

townhomes often offer islands in the kitchens, better light and en-suite

bathrooms.

Whether you decide to buy a single family house or a townhome, it may be difficult to

find something in your ideal location in your price range. After all, heading out into a sea

of bricks and mortar without extensive research can be extremely intimidating. With

Active Listings, you can search for homes via location (specific house, landmark,

neighborhood, city, region) and set filters based on price, year sold, and yes, housing

type (condos, townhouse, etc.)

There are most certainly many other variables to consider in your decision-making

process. Active Listings urges you to conduct your own due diligence and consider all

variables that matter to you, and seek the advice of local experts who knows your

neighborhood of interest.