BuyingBuyingHomeownership January 20, 2023

Townhouses: Pros and Cons


The choice between a townhouse or a detached home can be confusing. Here are a few pros and cons of purchasing a townhouse and if it’s the right choice for you!

What is a Townhouse?

A townhouse is when one or more walls are shared with your neighbour but are independently owned dwellings. The units are well known for ease of living, featuring shared outside maintenance costs such as lawn care and snow removal.

What’s Better: Buying a Townhouse or a Detached Home?

Compared to detached homes, townhouses can offer a more modern look for a better price, and outside maintenance costs are pooled together with other residents, keeping the homes well maintained. Townhouses are typically built in higher-density populations, making them closer to more valuable amenities.

Whereas, in a single-family home, all the maintenance falls on the owner—which can be daunting. The detached house’s location has more impact on the cost, even if it is an older home that needs many renovations.

It is up to you which option you choose and what is best for you and your family. Ensure you also review the rules and regulations of the townhouse complex/corporation. You might discover extra condo fees, a cap on the number of inhabitants in one townhouse or pet restrictions.

How Are Townhouses Set up?

A townhouse can come in three set-ups. 

1) A land trustee: only land around the unit is common ground with other owners in the complex. The owner is responsible for the unit.

2) Independent ownership: there are commonly shared property elements between the owners, like walls and backyards.


3) Registered condominium corporation: The property and the building are shared responsibilities of every owner and usually come with extra condo fees. 

What Features Should You Look for in a Townhouse?

The biggest perk of purchasing a townhouse is “maintenance-free living.” Ask about the townhouse agreement and any rules and regulations that it has to make sure it fits your needs as a buyer. Also, consider if the townhouse is within your budget and in your desired neighbourhood. Even if the townhouse is a brand new build, always consider getting a home inspector to verify it’s safe to purchase.

Is Buying a Townhouse a Good Investment?

Commonly, yes! Buying a townhouse is a good investment based on resale value. They hold up better value than their apartment condo counterparts. They could also be rented out reasonably quickly for extra income, with no yard maintenance required on your part. Real estate is a considerable investment, and hiring an experienced agent is essential in purchasing a property.

Tips for Purchasing a Townhouse.

Here are a few additional tips that don’t fit in with the above categories:

  • Look at many options of townhouses in the areas you desire. Ask your real estate professional about the differences between the ones you view and if a townhouse or detached home is right for you and your lifestyle.
  • If you are buying into a condo corporation, ensure that the reserve fund is sufficient for long-term planning. Ask for a copy of the most recent meeting minutes to gain insight into the current property maintenance, plus any additional information.

Should I Buy a Townhouse?

It depends! Buying any property is a lifelong investment, so choosing the right one can be difficult. Weigh the pros and cons of each unit you see and decide if it’s the right choice for you! Work with a trusted real estate agent to provide you with personalized advice.