We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Townhouses?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Initially, townhouses belonged to a set of terraced houses, sharing walls with other homes built in the same architectural style. Members of the aristocracy often occupied them in Europe. Having “a house in town,” for example in places like London or Bath, generally meant owning a second or third home one visited during certain seasons.

Townhouses over time have undergone a dramatic shift. Instead of being domiciles for the wealthy, they have now become residences for people who cannot afford to buy or rent a freestanding home, or prefer townhouse living. Like the townhouses of old, the modern townhouse shares walls in common with other townhouses. Many are two-story affairs with sleeping quarters located on the second floor.

Modern townhouses may exist as part of a large complex. It’s quite common, when townhouses are in large numbers, for the entire complex to be managed by a real estate company or a homeowners association (HOA). The idea is to keep the overall look of the townhouse uniform, so many restrictions on painting, landscaping and appropriate window covering may exist. Though a condominium is often considered different from a townhouse, this is not always the case. The terms can be used interchangeably in the US. Sometimes a condo is defined as having only one story, but many condos have two to three stories, making them little different than the townhouse.

The shared walls with other neighbors provide advantages and disadvantages. People who live in a townhouse flanked on either side with other homes generally have slightly lower heating bills because only two sides of the home have direct outdoor exposure. Further, a townhouse in an HOA means the owner or renter has little responsibility toward maintaining the outside of the property. Roofing, painting and gardening may all be part of the HOA’s job, which can mean less maintenance costs for the townhouse resident, though the townhouse resident may have to pay higher HOA fees.

The townhouse is usually less expensive, either to rent or buy than is a freestanding home. This can be advantageous when money is tight, but both condos and townhouses notoriously remain lower in value, and prices seem most affected by declines in the housing market. This can mean there is less profit to be made when you sell a townhouse, and in a depressed housing market, owners may lose money. Upkeep of the surrounding property and common areas of a townhouse complex are very important or the townhouse tends to depreciate in value.

    Disadvantages to townhouse living can include the following:
  • You are more likely to be disturbed by neighbor noise.
  • You generally have a very small backyard and little space to garden.
  • You may have less say about the exterior appearance of your home.
  • You have less light in the home because only two sides, or at most three if you live at the end of a row can feature windows.
  • Purchasing a townhouse can be financially risky in certain real estate markets.
  • You may need to pay HOA fees.

Despite these disadvantages, many people enjoy townhouse living and like the close proximity of neighbors. They also may be pleased they’re not responsible for property upkeep and find this well worth paying HOA fees. Townhouses generally have the look and feel of a “house” where apartments are less “homey” feeling. They’re an economical use of space that provides good to great quality of living for both owners and renters.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon951713 — On May 17, 2014

@paco8490: I don't know about your situation. But where I live each townhouse has three spaces and two guest parking areas. Also where I live we only have carports and no garages.

@anon311561: Here in the United States, townhouses can be different. If you live in an older townhouse, the walls are poorly insulated. This leads to a lot of noise from your neighbors. Also the close proximity can cause other problems, such as parking and overall lack of respect for personal space.

By anon311561 — On Jan 02, 2013

@anon39467: Why avoid? There are really decent ones in Essex bordering London, and they're in immaculate condition. If they're not dated, then what is the problem? Location is surely the overriding factor.

By anon39467 — On Aug 02, 2009

simply avoid!

By paco8490 — On Aug 21, 2007

How about parking on a townhouses when a unit has more than one car and some units have garage and others not; what we can do the non-garage about parking.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a HomeQuestionsAnswered contributor,...
Learn more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.