Townhome vs. Single-Family Home: Which One Is for You?

Thinking of buying a home but don't know which type to choose? Here are some thoughts.

Savvy Homebuying

Choosing between a townhome and a single-family home? There are pros and cons to both.

The Deal with Townhomes

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  • Townhouses are attached and share at least one wall with another home (maybe two).
  • They generally have less land than single-family homes, which can be a real plus for people who don't like yard work and shoveling snow. Less property means less maintenance.
  • Townhouses can often be more vertical than single-family homes; their footprint is smaller, but they can make up the square footage in height. You need to like climbing stairs.
  • Since they're built closer together, some townhouse communities might be inherently more social and you can meet neighbors more easily than homes that are built on larger parcels of land.
  • Townhomes can be more affordable than single-family homes, which is great if you're working on a tighter budget.
  • You can get better bang for your buck. Many new townhomes cost less—and offer better amenities and interior upgrades—than resale single-family homes.

The Deal with Single-Family Homes

  • Since they often have more land, single-family homes offer bigger backyards (plus side yards), which is great if you love to garden.
  • Single-family homes can feel a bit more private than townhomes, simply because they're not attached.
  • They're usually set further back from the street, giving you more of a view from your front windows.
  • Some single-family homes offer more natural light than townhomes, because you can have windows on all four sides of the home.
  • Townhomes sometimes don't have garages, and if they do, they're in the back of the home. Most single-family dwellings have garages, and they're in the front.

Ryan Homes Tip: Both townhome communities and single-family home communities can have home association fees. While they can be an additional expense, they can pay for maintenance and fun things like a community pool and clubhouse. Remember to ask about this when shopping for a home.