What You Need to Know When You Buy a Townhouse

by Justin Johnson, Demand Media Google
    Know what to expect before buying a townhouse.

    Know what to expect before buying a townhouse.

    A townhouse is a dwelling that is similar to a condominium because it is usually attached to another unit. However, a townhome is usually owned by the residents who reside in it. Since townhouses are similar to condominiums, but have some attributes of home ownership, there are several things you should be aware of when you buy a townhouse.

    Privacy Matters

    Since townhouses are generally attached to another unit, you should not have the expectation of privacy that you would have if you were to buy a traditional house. While this may not present a problem to you, to others who cherish their privacy, it may be a prohibitive barrier to purchase. While privacy may be impaired due to the close proximity to your neighbors, you may feel more secure knowing that you are close to help if an emergency arises.

    Homeowner Association Fees

    The owners of a townhome, similar to owners of condominiums, are often part of a homeowner's association. These associations assess a periodic fee for services that they provide, such as lawn care and other general services that cater to the group of townhome owners. These fees vary for different townhome developments and are often included in your regular monthly mortgage payment. The services provided in exchange for these fees add to the convenience of living in a townhome.

    Amenities

    There are some perks that accompany purchasing a townhome. Your townhome may be in a community that provides communal entertainment options such as playground equipment, park space and swimming pools. These amenities are likely maintained with the homeowner association fee. Depending upon your situation, these amenities may be an important factor in your purchase decision.

    Unit Placement

    It is important to determine whether you desire to own a townhome on the end of the building or in the middle of the building. A desirable characteristic of an interior unit is a decrease in utility bills, as there are no exposed exterior walls. However, townhomes on the end of a unit provide more privacy, as there is only one shared wall with neighbors.

    About the Author

    Based in Dresden, Ohio, Justin Johnson has written numerous academic, accounting and business and finance articles since 1998 that have been published on various websites. He holds a bachelors degree in business management and is employed in operations management for an Ohio-based coal company.

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