Late last year I sold a townhouse that I owned for a decade. For the record, I sold it because over the 2015-2017 period, it increased in value by a rate we are not going to see again so I ‘took the money and ran’, cashed out after the sharp rise in appreciation. I am too busy to take care of rental properties. It was a good time to sell. The place hardly appreciated for years and years and then, BOOM!
Having said that, I was still a little sorry to let it go. It was such a great investment property and I’m certain it will be a great home for the new owners.
Who should buy a townhouse?
Townhouses, especially freehold townhouses, in my opinion are the best real estate most people can buy. They should be seriously considered if you are:
- First time home buyer
- Unsure how long you will live in your home
- Real estate investor
- Professional (couple or single) without children
7 reasons why you should buy a townhouse:
A townhouse is a great compromise. It falls into a sweet spot between cost and comfort — you get a lot without giving up much.
Owners not renters
After living in a rented condo apartment, when you move into a townhouse the first thing you will notice is a sense of neighbourhood. This is because your neighbours are owners not renters and as such are more committed to keeping the environment nice for themselves and for everyone else. Essentially everyone has common interests in keeping the environment nice. Rules are obeyed.
Safety and Security
Because of the point above, a townhouse community tends to be a lot less transient compared with communities that have a higher percentage of renters. This means, you will get to know your neighbours and this will lead not only to the feeling but the reality of a safer environment for you and your family.
Townhouses are often built in urban environments. For many people this means that townhouses offer the best of both worlds — the comfort and safety of a house in a vibrant and interesting environment.
The popularity of townhouses has grown substantially in the past two generations. This means that they tend to be fairly new and modern.
Size and space
Townhouses are not as big as your average house and not as small as your average apartment style unit. Not surprisingly, they match the needs of their target audience (see above).
Generally speaking, townhouses appreciate better than apartment units but not as well as single detached houses.
They are also easy to buy, easy to rent and easy to sell.
Freehold vs Condo vs Freehold with Condo elements
There are three kinds of ownership associated with townhouses.
Freehold: the unit owner owns the structure and the land it sits upon and is responsible for outside maintenance
Condo: the unit owner owns the structure and has part ownership in the land, road and other common elements. Typically the condo association will take care of all outside maintenance, roads and garbage collection.
Freehold with condo elements: the unit owner owns the unit but has to do outside maintenance however there may be a ‘road tax’ and a charge for garbage removal.
3 reasons why you should buy condo townhouse
No extra work
If you purchase a condo townhouse, you will be happy that unit owners are only responsible for maintaining the interior of their homes. No shovelling of lawn maintenance for you!
No extra cost
Since you are not having to do any outside work you do not need to buy a lawn mover, gardening tools, snow shovel or snow thrower.
Many condo townhouses have amenities such as pools, tennis courts, party rooms, libraries, and sometimes even guest suite for your out-of-town visitors.
Call to action
I’ve lived in townhouses (twice) and I’ve invested in condo townhouses (twice). Every year, I help people buy and sell Kitchener-Waterloo area townhouses.
I like townhouses, a lot.
Please send me a quick email if you have questions about which local townhouse option might be right for you.