Pros & Cons of Buying a Townhouse

November 20th, 2019

The townhouse only came into existence in Fredericton within the last 10-15 years, making it a newer property option in our city. There are several different forms of townhouses. The Right Choice Realty team can help you understand the differences and the benefits of each type of property so you can decide if it’s right for you. 

 

What are Townhouses or Garden Homes?

The terms ‘townhouse’ (or ‘townhome’) and ‘garden home’ are sometimes used interchangeably because they are architecturally similar. One or more walls are shared with the neighbouring, independently-owned homes. These units usually share outside maintenance costs such as snow removal and lawn care.

 

What’s Better: Buying a Townhouse or a Stand-alone Home

Compared to other homes, they tend to provide a more modern look and feel and they’re priced more competitively, too. A townhouse is usually situated in a higher-density area where shared resources are pooled together to help maintain the exterior property. 

A single-family, stand-alone house is the independent responsibility of the homeowner, so all maintenance responsibilities fall on them. That alone can be enough for some people to determine whether or not it is the right choice. 

Regardless of which option you choose, the same real estate closing process is followed, except townhouse buyers must also review the rules and regulations of the townhouse complex/corporation. 

 

How Are Townhouses Set-up?

A townhouse can come in three set-ups: 1.) a land trustee, 2.) independent ownership, or 3.) a registered condominium corporation.

In a land trustee set-up, only the land around the unit is common ground with other owners in the complex; the responsibility to the unit itself is that of the owner. Independent ownership means there are common shared elements of the property between the owners (e.g., shared walls). In the condominium townhouse agreement, the building and the property are shared responsibilities of every owner. 

 

What to Look for When Buying a Townhouse

Most people looking to purchase townhouses are looking for “maintenance-free living.” If this is your goal, make sure you inquire about what type of townhouse agreement you’re getting into, and whether or not this meets your needs as a buyer. You’ll also want to consider where the townhouse is located and if the listing price is within your budget. We recommend hiring a home inspector in Fredericton to help you uncover any deficiencies in the townhouse before you decide to purchase it.

 

Is Buying a Townhouse a Good Investment? 

Usually, yes! This is simply another form of home ownership, and it is regarded as an independent investment. A townhouse can also be a great rental property option, providing you with low-maintenance for the exterior. While most real estate is a valuable part of your investment portfolio, it’s important to seek advice from your financial advisor throughout the purchasing process. This is especially true because the real estate market can fluctuate over time.

 

Tips for Buying a Townhouse

In addition to the advice provided above, here are some addition tips if you are considering purchasing a townhouse:

  • We recommend looking at as many options as possible before committing to a specific area. A professional realtor can education you about the specific styles and the differences between buying townhouse or a single-family home.
  • If you’re buying into a condo corporation, ensure the reserve fund is sufficient for long-term planning. Ask for a copy of the most recent corporate meeting minutes to gain insight into current information on property maintenance and more.
  • Ensure the estopple certificate of the condo or land trustees corporation are not facing legal action. Also, make sure the board of directors for the corporation has good communication skills and make an effort to keep townhouse owners informed.

 

Should I Buy a Townhouse? 

It depends! Rely on the expertise of Right Choice Realty to provide you with personalized advice. We can weigh the pros and cons of the homes you’re considering and take you to see some of your favourites first-hand!

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