Townhouse vs Condo vs House: What's the Best Property For First-Time Home Buyers?
As a first-time homebuyer, it can be difficult to choose between townhouses, condos, and single-family homes. Each residential property type has its own advantages and disadvantages that must be carefully considered before making an investment. Knowing what the pros and cons are and how you should prioritize them for your wants can help you choose the best first property to buy.
Buying a Townhouse
Many first-time home seekers find themselves wondering, "What is a townhome?". Townhomes are individual units in a row or block that are owned by the individual residents. Townhouses provide an attractive option for first-time buyers and those looking to start investing in real estate and offer cost savings, privacy, and the potential for appreciation. Townhouses are usually smaller than single-family homes but larger than condos, which can make them a more affordable middle option for first-time buyers.
Townhouses provide an edge over condos when it comes to privacy, as townhouse owners have fewer, if any, shared walls than those in many condominiums. Furthermore, you don't need to seek approval before making modifications within your own space, unlike some condo buildings. Additionally, owners are usually only responsible for the interior of their unit, excluding the maintenance burden of features such as roofs or driveways that come along with traditional single-family homes.
Purchasing a townhouse can be an appealing selection for those seeking to become homeowners, due to its cost-effectiveness and reduced upkeep demands compared to single-family homes. They usually offer more privacy than a condo, but at a higher price point. Depending on your wants, townhomes can be a great first home property type choice.
Buying a Condo
Contrary to townhomes, condos are typically individual units owned by the individual residents within a larger building. Condo living offers several advantages for those looking to buy a home, like having access to luxuries such as swimming pools and gyms that aren't typically included in single-family homes. Plus, there are usually shared common areas like outdoor patios and gardens where you can entertain or hang out with your neighbours.
Typically, condos are part of a COA, which provides some unique pros and cons to consider. On one hand, a COA can provide community amenities and take care of maintenance and repairs. On the other hand, you may be required to pay COA fees and follow their rules and regulations.
A condo also typically requires fewer repairs than a house, making it attractive to those without experience in home repairs and upkeep. Due to the homeowner's association taking care of external maintenance, it is much more convenient and cost-effective to maintain one's condo unit in comparison with a standalone house. This makes condos particularly attractive for those without prior experience in maintaining a property, such as first-time buyers.
Condos are generally the smallest units when comparing them with townhomes and single-family homes. They can be a great option for home buyers who don't need a lot of space but still want to reap the many benefits of home ownership.
Buying a House
For those looking to own their own home, buying a house offers the advantage of more space and privacy than other types of property. Single-family homes usually have more square footage than condos or townhomes, allowing the opportunity to spread out or comfortably host visitors. Additionally, single-family homes are detached, meaning you won’t have to worry about shared walls with neighbours like in condo units or townhouses.
Another advantage of buying a house is the potential for appreciation over time as the housing market continues to rise. Purchasing a single-family home can be seen as an investment in your future financial security, since they generally appreciate over time if maintained properly.
Single-family homeowners may have an HOA in some neighbourhoods but most don't. As such, buyers typically won't have to shell out money for a monthly condo or HOA fee that can add up quickly depending on what amenities are included in your complex; this cash can instead be put towards home renovations. Ultimately, having control over how you use your property without interference from others living nearby provides more freedom and flexibility.
Choose the Right Property Type For Your First Home
When choosing a first home to buy, it's important that buyers consider their lifestyle, budget, and personal preferences in order to make an informed decision. There are pros and cons to townhomes, condos, and single-family homes, but by understanding the differences, you can make sure to invest in the property type that best meets your needs. Working with a real estate agent can help guide you through the process and ensure you find your dream home, regardless of your chosen property type.