The Big Purchase: Town Home vs. Single Family Home

Purchasing your first piece of property can be daunting, but the first thing you must decide, especially if you live in a more urban area, is whether or not you want to purchase a town home or a single family home.

Both are good options, but it all depends on what your needs are and what type of lifestyle you lead, so it's important to choose the right one.

Benefits of a Town Home
Generally, town homes are more low-maintenance. They typically don't have much of a yard, and if they do, it's extremely small and easy to maintain. Also, town homes are typically maintained by a Homeowner's Association, which accepts all responsibility for exterior maintenance. 

Town homes are also less expensive than a single family home, and most often, they even come with updated features that you may or may not get in a detached, single family home.

Also, with your neighbors so close, town homes offer more security. When you leave your home for an extended period of time, you don't have to worry, because hopefully, your neighbors will notice if something goes wrong. 

Town homes also come with added amenities that would cost you more if you owned a single family home. The homeowner's association often maintains swimming pools, tennis courts, parks, and other recreational facilities that can be used by the homeowner. 

Negatives of a Town Home
While town homes do have a lot of positives, there are some drawbacks to living in one. The biggest issue is privacy. The homes share a wall in the middle, so if you like to listen to loud music or host an array of parties, a town home might not be the best choice, as your neighbors probably won't appreciate it. 

These homes are also very uniform, and they don't offer much character. So if you want to be able to tell your house apart from the others down the street, a town home probably isn't for you.

Another thing town homes lack is storage. If you have a lot of bigger items, you may need to invest in a storage unit just to keep them, which would be an extra cost. And it doesn't stop indoors, town homes don't typically have a lot of outdoor space either.

Single Family Home Benefits
One of the biggest reasons to purchase a single family home is the resale value. According to a study conducted by the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average price of a home increased by 10.4 percent in 2013. Homes typically go up in value because of renovations and modifications made to them, which is something that you are not always permitted to do in a town home. 

Another big positive of buying a single family home is privacy. When purchasing these homes, you own the house and the ground beneath it. You also have no shared walls like you typically would in a town home. Because of this, single family homes usually offer more space as well. Most come with a larger yard for entertainment an extra storage space. 

Esthetically, single family homes can be a good option because they offer extra character that cookie-cutter town homes don't. 

Single Family Home Negatives
Although single family homes have many things to offer, there are also some things you may want to consider before you make the big purchase. Overall, single family homes cost more, especially if you have to make repairs often. There also isn't always someone around to fix these issues, and you own the property, so the repairs are your responsibility. Also, while most newer homes offer open floor plans, some older homes don't offer the same convenient layout. 

At the end of the day, you have to choose the type of home that is best for you. What works for some may not work for another, and that's why there are so many options to choose from. So, be sure to carefully weigh those options before writing the big check.