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A townhouse is a dwelling that seems to combine the best amenities of a single-family home and a true condominium. Many people are a bit confused about exactly what defines a dwelling as a townhouse, and some of the lines are somewhat blurred, but the true explanation is simple: it is a home that is attached to adjacent houses. Typically, ownership comes with the land that the house is on.
While condos are sometimes also physically attached to other units, when a person buys a condominium, she does not own the land beneath her home, despite the fact that she may be required to contribute to the general upkeep of the common areas.
Townhouses, also sometimes called row houses, can be built as single or multi-storied structures. They can be attached to other houses with one or both sides sharing common walls, depending on whether the unit is in a center or end position. These homes can be grouped together as small units, such as duplexes or triplexes, or they can be a part of a huge complex. If one is located within a larger complexes, the owner may be required to pay fees for the upkeep of common areas, as well as taking care of her own yard.
In most cases, a townhouse offer at least a little green space, most often in the form of a small backyard area and landscaped walkup that leads to the front door. Some are designed to include backyard patios or upstairs balconies to enhance the feeling of open space. Some advantages to buying a this type of home include less responsibility for maintenance because of reduced exterior areas, higher security with neighbors right next door, and amenities, such as swimming pools or tennis courts, which are often available in larger complexes.
Not everyone is suited for the lifestyle that comes with such a house, however. Compared to owning a single-family dwelling, owners will lose a degree of privacy, be somewhat restricted as to how they can decorate the exterior of the dwelling, and may have to incur expenses to help pay for landscaping services and upkeep on the overall property.
If the concept of owning a townhouse does appeal to an individual, she can find a wide variety of styles and price ranges. These homes can look rustic, traditional or modern; the design is only limited by the imagination of the architect. As always, the real estate market and property location dictate market value for most houses.