Should I Buy a Townhouse – Everything You Need to Know
Have you ever asked yourself: “should I buy a townhouse?”
Well, you’re in luck because we’ll answer that question in depth in this helpful article.
Buying real estate is no small achievement; it’s often the most significant purchase that people make in life. That’s why you should never rush into a property purchase.
Making a hasty decision can leave you stuck with a property you’re not satisfied with for years.
It pays to play the waiting game and snag the perfect property if you have the time.
However, we digress. If you’ve asked yourself if a townhouse is the correct type of home for you, continue reading because we’ll explore, in detail, all the reasons why a townhouse might be the right choice of home for your needs.
Let’s unpack this some more.
Location Matters – Get into the Market Where you Want
Often, people have their hearts set on living in a particular area. There might be various reasons for this – the schools, the other amenities, proximity to work or other factors.
However, a standalone house can sometimes be out of reach in terms of budget or borrowing capacity.
Yet a townhouse in the same area will often be cheaper than a house.
This can make a townhouse the perfect opportunity to get into an area and get a foot in the door of the property market.
Then, once your life circumstances improve, such as increased wages or dual incomes, or if the market is nice to you and you build in some equity you can then sell up and find a house or check out townhouses for sale but as an upgrade!
This makes a townhouse a perfect first property for those starting out in life.
Property Investor – Perfect Choice
If you’re a budding property investor, you often choose between apartments, units, townhouses and houses.
Now, each has its pros and cons. However, a townhouse is an excellent choice of investment. This is for a few reasons.
The first reason is that townhouses offer better rental yields than apartments and sometimes units. This is because they are often more modern than a unit and offer more living space than an apartment. Renters prefer this.
Another benefit is that if you purchase a townhouse off the plan or newly built, you have years until parts of it need replacing. For instance, flooring such as hardwood will last ages, and carpet will need replacement every ten years or so.
The same applies to appliances such as dishwashers, heating and cooling systems, etc. If you buy new or newly built, you won’t have to face repair or replacement bills for a while.
Yet another reason townhouses are a sound choice of investment is their lower maintenance requirements compared to a house. This is due to their smaller size, design, and eco-friendliness are more modern than houses built decades ago.
And finally – finding a positively geared townhouse is possible if you look in the right places.
Further Reasons Townhouses are Solid Investments
There are several other reasons why buying a townhouse can make for good investment properties. For now, I want to discuss demand.
In Demand for Multiple Demographics
Townhouses are in demand at the moment. Young families, starting out in life, look to rent townhouses due to their affordability when compared to houses.
They want to live in a particular area, and a townhouse is cheaper than a house. They’ll often use the rental savings to save for their own deposit for a first home.
The other demographic that wants to rent townhouses are empty nesters.
Once all the kids leave home, they feel the need to downsize. A townhouse is a perfect property to downsize into, so this age group is often looking to rent them too.
Let’s get back to why you might want to buy a townhouse as an owner-occupier.
A townhouse offers increased privacy when compared to another type of strata property – an apartment.
An apartment block often has shared areas, such as shared laundries, shared outside space, shared storage, and shared car parks. This means you often run into your neighbours, even when you’d prefer not to.
Conversely, a townhouse offers more privacy. Sure, you are sharing walls, but these are often so well-insulated that you’ll never hear your neighbours at all.
These properties often have their own outdoor areas, either gardens or alfresco spaces. You don’t have to share these with anyone so you can enjoy your time outside.
Furthermore, a townhouse often comes with a garage or a car space, so you can park your car and come straight inside.
If you value your privacy, then a townhouse might be the right choice of home for you.
More Living Space
Again, compared to an apartment, a townhouse offers more living space. The two stories mean you will often have your living room, kitchen and dining downstairs.
This is beneficial because you can chill out, eat, drink and host downstairs. Then, you can retreat upstairs to the bathroom and bedroom to chill out for the night.
Now, some people think that townhouses are small and poky. While some might be, the vast majority are actually quite spacious, especially when compared to a cramped apartment.
Cheaper to Live In
Townhouses are often cheaper to live in than a standalone houses. This comes down to a few things but is primarily due to their energy efficiency.
Older houses are often poorly insulated and get quite hot in summer and chilly in winter. This means running the heating and cooling nearly all year round, perhaps with a brief break in autumn and spring.
This results in substantial energy bills – all that gas and electricity adds up.
Now, compare a house to a townhouse. Depending on when they were built, townhouses are often well-insulated and designed to be energy efficient.
This means that they hold warmth in winter and coolness in summer. You may still have to use your heating and cooling on cold/hot days, but your energy bills won’t be as huge due to a townhouse’s smaller size.
This is a great benefit to living in a townhouse, as you’ll save money over the years that can be put on the mortgage or saved up for a holiday or other exciting stuff.
Better for Pets
A townhouse is the better choice of property if you have fur babies. While you can technically own a pet while living in an apartment, it is not ideal.
Firstly, some strata owners’ corporations forbid pet ownership, forcing you to either hide your pets away or not have them at all.
Also, having only a balcony as an outdoor space is not ideal for pets. They need exercise and sunshine, just like us.
A townhouse is the better choice of property if you want pets. They will have a larger space to roam around in, an outdoor area to use, and are generally happier in a townhouse.
Modern Design and Superior Living
If you buy a house, often you need to settle for an older, run-down property that needs extensive renovations. Now, some people are okay with this, but this approach can get expensive quickly.
First, you need a larger home loan to buy the property. This makes your mortgage repayments high. Then, you need to somehow find the money to renovate.
Often people will do it one room at a time and spend a decade or more slowly renovating the home. All the while you need to live in the place or find temporary accommodation as you renovate rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom.
Compare this hassle with buying a modern townhouse. New townhouses are often sleekly designed, making them a pleasure to live in.
They require no improvements for some time, allowing you to direct that money towards paying down the home loan or putting it towards other enjoyable activities or products.
If you like your creature comforts, then a townhouse is a suitable buy for you.
An Option – Off the Plan
One option is to buy a townhouse off the plan.
Buying off the plan is an excellent option for a few reasons.
Firstly, you are guaranteed a brand-new property. This means no damage, no wear and tear and brand-new fixings, fixtures, and appliances.
This is an excellent benefit because, as we mentioned above, you won’t have to repair or replace anything for some time.
Another benefit is that buying a brand-new property can often see significant stamp duty savings, depending on what state you live in. Stamp duty is often tens of thousands of dollars, which is a great benefit.
Furthermore, if it’s your first home, buying brand new homes often makes you eligible for the first homeowners/buyers grant, which is 10k, in most states. This is a decent leg up that you would not otherwise have if you purchased an existing home.
We’ve answered the question, “should I buy a townhouse” in this helpful blog. Also, we covered all the reasons why you might purchase this sort of property.
Finally, we detailed some reasons why buying a townhouse as a rental property is a sound choice, as well as why a townhouse might be suitable for owner-occupiers too.
Let’s quickly recap.
Townhouses are a great option because:
– You can buy where you want
– A great choice for investors due to better rental yields and they are in demand
– Increased privacy compared to an apartment
– More living space compared to an apartment
– Cheaper to live in (energy bills)
– Great for pet owners
– Modern design and superior living
There you have it!