7 Things to Look for When Searching for the Right Townhome

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Townhomes can be a happy compromise between owning a single-family home where the upkeep is fully on the homeowner, and a condo where there is a building staff that takes care of all maintenance needs on behalf of a homeowner (but at a significant cost). Though the townhome owner will need to purchase their home in most cases, they do get some of the benefits of renting, like having building maintenance, beautiful amenities, and lawn care and other issues taken care of for them. Before buying any townhome, there are a few things potential purchasers should review.

Check Out the HOA Before Buying

Homeowner associations (HOAs) are common with townhomes and can have a huge impact on the overall neighborhood. These associations are designed to help keep property prices up for when someone is ready to sell by ensuring homes are kept to specific standards. They also help upkeep common areas like a recreation center or the parking lot. Before buying a townhome, check the HOA rules and regulations carefully as well as the cost of the dues, the frequency of payments, and the fees that could be applied if something is done that breaks the rules of the HOA. Also, remember that dues can be raised temporarily or permanently to cover repair costs for common areas or other things the community, in general, may want.

Consider the Neighbors, Especially on Either Side

Unlike apartments or condos, townhomes only have neighbors on either side instead of around all sides. However, though there are only two neighbors attached to the home, it’s still crucial to learn more about the neighbors on either side before moving in. Take time to drive through the neighborhood during the week and the weekends at different times to assess noise levels and to make sure they are acceptable. Think about the soundproofing inside the townhome as well, since this can muffle and minimize the amount of noise heard from the neighbors. It’s always important to learn more about the neighbors before moving in to make sure there won’t be any issues after the home is purchased.

Learn About Landscaping and Lighting

Look around at how the neighborhood looks in general and the landscaping for the specific townhome. Because these homes are connected, they don’t generally have large yards. Be wary of trees hanging over the home from a neighbor’s yard, an unfinished yard that may need quite a bit of time to enhance, and other potential yard issues before moving in. Check out the lighting as well to see how much light gets into the home during the day and to be sure outdoor lighting is not going to be a problem throughout the night. Townhomes generally have windows only in the front or the back but make sure neighbors are going to turn off their lights at night, so it can get dark inside your townhome when it’s time to head to bed.

Consider the Insurance Requirements

Insurance will need to be purchased for the townhome, so look into what the requirements are. In some cases, the HOA might handle a portion of the insurance requirements, so look into what the HOA covers and what else needs to be covered. In situations where the HOA doesn’t cover any part of the insurance, purchase a policy that includes any potential natural disasters in the area and have more than the standard coverage for the area. Depending on the area, it may be important to add on flood insurance or boost the personal injury protection in the policy just in case anything happens. While looking into policies, also check out how the repairs will be handled in case damage is done to the townhome being purchased as well as a neighboring townhome to minimize the hassles that can occur when both units need to be repaired at once.

Look Into the CC&R

Townhome communities often have CC&R (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) that homeowners must follow. This generally puts certain restrictions on what can be done to the home but can also help keep the homes looking nicer and prevent issues with neighbors. Read through these documents carefully as all homeowners will be bound by the CC&R. These documents may include the types of renovations that can be done to the outside of the home, whether a clothesline can be hung, how many pets the homeowners can have, and more. These can make a difference in whether someone wants to purchase a townhome in a community or if they might want to look for a community with a different set of CC&R documents.

Review the Parking Situation

Due to the closeness of the homes, parking may be a concern. Some townhomes are built on top of a garage, so parking inside the garage is standard. Others may have specific parking spaces for each townhome. Check the number of parking spaces allotted to each home to make sure there’s enough for all drivers in the home. Along with finding out what type of parking is available for homeowners, consider where and how guests are going to park as well. Some townhomes will have overflow parking for guests while others may not have this available.

Look for Luxury Townhomes

Luxury townhomes, like those offered by NRIA, are designed to look amazing and may offer amenities that aren’t found in most townhomes. Though they may be more expensive than other townhomes, they can be a fantastic investment for many homeowners. Additionally, townhomes typically have more square footage than condos, so if you're looking to live in a densely populated area like a city, you get more space with a newly-built townhouse and often luxury features such as elevators, rooftop decks, etc. Those who are interested in purchasing a townhome can look to NRIA and NR Living to learn more about luxury townhome investments. Buying an NRIA townhome is an easy choice because of the amenities included and the amazing quality of the homes.

Conclusion

Buying a townhome may have a lot of similarities to purchasing a traditional single-family home, but there’s also a lot more that needs to be considered because of the basic style of townhomes. Before purchasing any townhome, look into the things listed here to make sure you’re choosing the right townhome and to invest in; a townhome that’s the perfect fit for you and your family. By being detail-oriented and prepared ahead of time, you will find a townhome you will love living in.

Matthew Callahan