Should you live in a Townhouse or a detached home?

Should you live in a Townhouse or a detached home?

Home buying is an exciting prospect, and one that should fill you with the excitement of reaching your homeownership dreams. Deciding on what type of home to buy, however, can be difficult. You cannot predict with certainty how long you will live there and what life changes your home will have to accommodate in the future. Both detached and townhomes are exceptional choices, with an array of benefits.

To help you find the place that’s right for you, SkyHomes has broken down some of the important considerations when choosing between a detached home or townhouse.

Detached Homes

Townhouse or detached home


Townhouse or detached home

Single detached homes typically have more spacious yards than attached units – and many townhome units may not have a private yard at all. In townhouse communities, the yard is usually considered a common area, maintained by an association. If entertaining guests outdoors for a big backyard barbecue, or planting a vegetable garden are part of your desired lifestyle, a single-family home offers you this perk. From the basement to the grass you stand on in your front lawn, to the rooftop–it’s all yours and yours alone. You can have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a single-family home. Children can run around freely within your line of sight, and friends and family can enjoy the swimming pool, without the worry of neighbours coming over to share the space.

No Shared Walls or Floors

Townhouse or detached home

In a detached home you don’t have to be preoccupied with your own noise level, as you do not have a neighbour sharing a wall to the left or right of you. Nor will you have to contend with neighbours stomping around or playing loud music at late hours. In a single detached home, no part of their home touches yours, which can eliminate many noise-related issues. While in townhomes, there are usually very reasonable noise regulations to keep living peaceful and content, a detached home decreases the odds of noise pollution interrupting the enjoyment of your home.


If you’re constantly struggling to find space to store holiday decorations, beach toys, bikes, or furniture, then a single-family home can accommodate these requirements. In many cases, a single-family home provides garage space, attic space, basement space, and more square footage overall than an attached-unit home. Single-family homes also can offer outdoor space to store outdoor play items for your children or pets, as well as gardening tools and recreation items. If you’re looking to start or grow your family – or if you foresee a day when aging parents or grandparents may come to live with you – a single-family home may be your best option. Also, if you envision your home as the go-to place for family reunions, sleepovers, and annual holiday parties, a single-family home is more amenable to entertaining – both inside and out – relative to a townhouse or condo.

Rights & Responsibilities

Residents of a detached homes are responsible for all maintenance. This means taking on the costs and inconveniences of maintenance inside and out. Lawn upkeep is your responsibility–whether mowed by you or paying for a professional. Roof maintenance, cleaning the gutters, pest control and growing that curb appealing garden are all up to you. You can also exercise greater control over your property (within the confines of zoning laws of course). In a detached home you are free to paint, renovate and build extensions. If you’re the handy type, or a design savvy individual, always looking to make new renovations or major aesthetic changes to your home, you are free to do this as you please.



Rights & Responsibilities

Buying a townhome involves living within a common-interest development in which a standard set of rules governs the community. Limitations are imposed by a Homeowners/Condo Association, or in some cases, their attached neighbours. The homeowners association enforces and oversees daily community operations, including common area maintenance and trash removal. It dictates such regulations as the colour of homes’ exterior walls to who can live there. For example, pet size and breed restrictions are common and senior townhouse communities restrict the minimum age of residents. A homeowner agrees to follow the HOA’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs;) upon buying. The owner cannot do much to change CC&Rs; because the HOA governing board and its homeowners as a whole make decisions. Newer single-family homes may also have an HOA, but it is essential to townhome ownership. The advantage to a townhouse community is that the HOA ensures upkeep and uniformity of the dwellings. Several maintenance duties are covered through your HOA. Depending on the HOA, everything from regular lawn maintenance to snow shovelling and property damage repairs may be covered. With a freehold home, you are the owner of the home itself and the plot of land it sits on. You don’t have to pay a monthy maintenance fee if you purchase a freehold home, and there are no rules and regulations. You are free to maintain the property as you see fit, to build decks, plant gardens, and paint your house without having to get any special permission.


The price of a townhouse, is generally less than a detached single-family home of the same size and location. You pay dues every month to these folks, and they take care of that patch of grass. And repainting the exterior. And re-shingling the roof. And blowing the leaves out of your parking space. And, if you live in a less than tropical locale, removing the snow in the parking lot.

Townhouses, therefore, make good starter homes for first-time buyers and those who have a limited budget, when compared to detached homes. Less maintenance costs both small, regularly and big ticket fixes should also be factored in, adding up to even  more savings.  you can get a lot of the same stuff in a townhouse that you can find in a regular house but you typically pay way less for it.


Being part of a townhouse community means neighbours  Owners have a stake in the development. here can be a real advantage to having neighbors close by, while not being in a ‘retirement home,’ and still having the advantage of building equity. For seniors or anyone who is, as Ms. Rogers so delicately put it, “medically fragile,” having a Nosy Nellie listening at the wall isn’t so bad for those folks, either. There’s a lot to be said for less yard maintenance, on-site exercise and laundry facilities and knowing all your neighbours when you’ve had a little mishap or a big mishap. Living in a townhouse mean there is likely someone around most of the time to help you. That works for frequent travelers, too. Alert your immediate neighbours that you’ll be out of town for a month and they’ll keep an eye and ear out for your place. When you get back, the yard won’t be a weedy mess. Meet fellow young families to socialize with and for your young ones to enjoy a playdate with, and enjoy that feeling of a close knit community.

The conflict between what fits your needs and budget in the present, and what you will need in a few years should be factored into your decision between a townhouse and single-family home. A buyer must compare the advantages and disadvantages of both. There are most certainly many other variables to consider in your decision-making process. Thankfully, as long as you make an informed buying decision, both housing styles are viable options that will make for a safe and beautiful setting to grow your family.

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