What if you can't afford a house or don't want something so big? One option for first-time home buyers or someone looking for a second property might be to purchase a townhome. It could be the right alternative when you're not quite ready to dive in feet first. Townhomes are unique; they share a wall with a similarly symmetrical other half of a home. Some townhomes may have multiple floors and residents tend to share common spaces (for grilling or maybe a workout center/spa) with their neighbors. 

It's very similar to living in an apartment or condo complex. You and your neighbors still have your private space but can still enjoy the nature of living in a closed community. Townhomes require less effort to keep clean and require minimal maintenance. Keep in mind, there can also be setbacks to living in a townhome. Let's take a moment and explore several reasons to consider before moving into townhome community.

The Price of Living

For the most part, townhomes are usually more affordable then single-family homes. Townhomes are newer and are regularly kept by the hired staff. There are a lot of people who prefer a living arrangement where they can live a low maintenance lifestyle. However, those who move into such a home need to be aware there may be monthly fees which come with owning a townhome. One example are Homeowner's Association fees. Each month, residents will be  required to pay dues to cover any structural insurance needed. The fees also cover landscaping and maintenance fees. Some HOA's can be expensive but that is the price to pay if you aren't interested in maintaining your yard and want the extra amenities that come with living in such a community. Make sure you check out the fees at each location you check out when your doing your homework, they change from place to place.

Who Is That?!

If you want to live in a townhome understand there will be a lack of privacy. This reason alone may be a deterrent for those who do like their privacy. There are some communities that do offer a private outdoor yard, however, such places are hard to find. Those that do offer the backyards are typically smaller and still lack real privacy since the neighbors tower over the outside space as well. Don't forget that you also share a wall and there is a high likelihood that you'll see if not hear your neighbors from time to time.

I Can't Do THAT?!

Consider this... most townhome communities carry rules and restrictions. For what it is worth, many HOA's come with a laundry list of what you can do along with what you are not. Pool hours, gym times, painting the exterior of your home, etc., all can be on these lists. While you are in the process of purchasing a townhome, it's typical for your HOA to provide the list so you are aware well before the sale completes to make sure you are ready to make the jump.

Such Rules may include:

- No changes or additions to the outside of your home.
- Do not hang anything outside to dry.
- Being disruptive to those around you is a no-go.
- Cannot park on the street after a certain time.
- No pets allowed. In some cases, HOA have specific set of instructions in order to have pets. In other cases, the answer is just no.

Every community's rules will be different so make sure you read the expectations carefully before relocating. 

Ah, this is the life.

Are you looking for convenience? Townhomes tend to be located near shopping centers, parks, restaurants and grocery stores. Having ease of access to nearby shops makes living nearby quick and easy. Living in a townhome community also means not having to mow your lawn or clean your pool. You'll never have to re-pave your driveway or clean up your yard. It is all handled for you through the HOA. Many of the HOA fees you pay each month covers insurance and the community's maintenance needs. This also includes painting, structural issues and storm damage.

In Conclusion...

As you can see, owning a townhome can be a great option if you are ok with living in an apartment or condo like community. If you understand the pros and cons of living in a townhome and feel it might be your best route - whether you are a first time homeowner or not - to take then contact your local real estate agent today!