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Understanding the Difference between a Townhouse and a Duplex

1. Number of Shared Walls

One of the main differences between townhouses and duplexes is the number of shared walls. Townhouses are part of a multi-family housing complex and can include several units in a row or stacked on top of each other. This means that many townhouses share walls on either side, which can lead to higher noise levels and less natural light. Duplexes, on the other hand, only have two connected homes, meaning that owners only share one wall.

2. Condo Fees & Home Owners Association Fees

Another factor to consider when choosing between a townhouse and a duplex is the presence of condo fees or HOA fees. Townhouses often include a governing board to oversee operations and maintenance, which can result in additional fees. Duplexes typically do not have these fees, as there are only two homeowners involved.

3. Size

Townhouses tend to be smaller in size, ranging from 1,000 to 1,400 square feet, making them ideal for young families or first-time homebuyers. Duplexes offer more space, usually between 1,200 and 1,800 square feet, and can come with single or double garages and a divided yard for added privacy.

4. Price

When it comes to price, townhouses are generally more affordable, with prices ranging from the high $200,000s to the mid $300,000s. Duplexes tend to be more expensive, with prices starting in the high $300,000s.

5. Privacy

Both townhouses and duplexes offer more privacy than apartment buildings or condos. However, duplexes provide slightly more privacy, as they are only attached to one other home, while townhouses are connected to multiple homes.

6. Exterior

If you enjoy DIY projects and want to make changes to your home’s exterior, a duplex may be a better fit for you. Duplex owners typically have more freedom to make exterior changes, while townhouse owners are often restricted by community guidelines.

7. Yard

If having a spacious yard is important to you, a duplex may be the right choice. Townhouses usually have limited outdoor space, while duplexes typically offer a larger, more private yard for you to enjoy.

8. Maintenance

Maintenance responsibilities can also vary between townhouses and duplexes. Townhouse owners usually don’t have to worry about exterior maintenance, as it’s taken care of through condo or HOA fees. Duplex owners, on the other hand, are responsible for basic exterior maintenance, such as shoveling snow and cutting grass.


When deciding between a townhouse and a duplex, consider factors such as the number of shared walls, condo fees, size, price, privacy, exterior freedom, yard space, and maintenance responsibilities. Each property type has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, so carefully weigh your options to find the perfect fit for your family and lifestyle.

If you’re looking for expert guidance in finding the right property, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team at Jessica Fulk Real Estate. We are dedicated to helping you find the perfect home to suit your needs and preferences.