The Pros and Cons of Living in a Townhouse

Townhouses have an old and honourable history as dwellings for European royalty. But do they make sense in the 21st century? Increasingly, the answer is yes. And here’s why.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation defines a townhouse as one of several single-family homes joined by common walls.

For empty nesters looking to downsize, townhouses offer an attractive alternative to condo apartment living or trading down to a smaller single-family home. However, they aren’t for everyone, so it’s important to do some research before signing on the dotted line.

Following are some of the pros and cons of townhouse living:

Pros:

  • Heating costs may be reduced because only two sides of the home have outside exposure.
  • A trend towards larger and more luxurious townhouses means you are getting a similar amount of floor space for a lower price.
  • Townhouses occupy less land, which is one reason they are less expensive – and easier to look after.
  • A townhouse generally maintains or increases its value compared to a condo apartment, but not as much as a detached house.

Cons:

  • You are more likely to be disturbed by neighbour noise, and you usually will have a small backyard.
  • You’ll have little say in what the outside of your home looks like. Some condos dictate numbers of pets, garage paint colour, and whether you can barbecue.
  • You have less light in the home because only two sides will have windows.
  • As with any other home purchase, you need to do your homework and ask questions. Your real estate agent can help.