Townhouses or Patio Homes: Everything You Need to Know
Securing a home for you or your family is a noble and proud achievement. This is especially true in today’s world, where quality and affordable housing is a major challenge for the average person and there are many choices to consider – in this article we’ll explore two similar options growing in popularity: townhouses & patio homes.
As you start evaluating the housing options that you have, the descriptions for the different housing alternatives can be quite confusing, and you may not be able to draw the line between these property types.
What is a Patio Home?
A patio home is usually in a suburban setting and can be small, having one and a half stories or less. It can either be a freestanding structure and feel like a single family home but be relatively close to the neighbor or part of a unit of several houses attached with common walls between houses.
Landscaping and exterior maintenance are provided through an association fee, making them a favorite choice if you need to alleviate some maintenance costs.
These small-lot homes sprang into fashion in the 1970s when shared and gated communities were gaining popularity. They have outdoor spaces, offer relatively easy access to the neighborhoods, and come to you at affordable prices, making them an excellent option for everyone.
There are no existing legal definitions for these homes, and most taxing jurisdictions do not have a specified classification for these developments.
Is Buying a Patio Home a Wise Investment?
- Low Maintenance Costs – Patio homes are more or less like apartments when it comes to convenience. They are developed with little maintenance in mind, and their small lots require little upkeep, not to mention the low association fees for exterior maintenance.
- Affordable – Compared to other properties, patio homes are a good option for buyers who do not seek to break the bank. They have a small footprint, which makes them a financially accessible option in the booming housing market.
- Sense of Community – Most patio developments offer combinations of open spaces, playgrounds, parks, trails and paths, gardens, pools, and more. Being close to neighbors allows you to create relationships, thus fostering a sense of security.
- Smaller – Patio homes feature one and a half stories and may not be as large as single-detached family homes. There may also be a restriction to the scope of activities that you can engage on your property.
- Potential Lack of Privacy – There may be a limitation of your privacy due to the shared exteriors and spaces.
- Recurring Homeowners Association Dues – While the monthly HOA fees are convenient for someone seeking cheap maintenance fees, these fees may turn out expensive depending on what they cover and may change or increase over time.
What is a Townhouse?
A townhouse or townhome is, as the naming suggests, found in urban and suburban areas where land is in limited supply. They are conjoined house units that are individually owned by separate tenants.
They have a similar architecture with row houses in that the owners share one or more walls. These houses are single-family residences and have at least two floors. Each home has its backyard unit but also shares a common space with all the other properties.
Is Buying a Townhouse a Wise Investment?
- More Affordable – Due to expensive land costs, townhouses will cost you cheaper than other single-family size homes of the same size and in the same location
- More Ownership – With townhouses, you have ownership of the interior as well as the exterior of your home. While the HOA (Homeowner’s Association) may enforce some aesthetic regulations, there is generally more of what you can do with the exterior, unlike other home types such as condos
- Moderate maintenance fees – Townhouses are smaller and easier to maintain for both the exteriors and interiors. The monthly homeowner’s association fee will take care of the exterior maintenance and the common spaces for you.
- Expensive Per Square Foot – According to the NAR (National Association of Realtors, townhouses are the second most expensive house types per square foot after condos in buildings with more than five units.
- Limited Use – Because your townhome is part of a complex, you must abide by the codes provided by HOA. As such, you may not be able to utilize your property in all the ways you want.
- Appreciation Fail – When you are purchasing your home, it is important to keep in mind the property’s resale value. Townhouses are notorious for slow appreciation in value, which could harm your returns on investment.
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