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Townhouse vs. Duplex: Understanding the Key Differences

When it comes to finding the perfect home, it is essential to understand the differences between various housing options. In this article, we will explore the key differences between a townhouse and a duplex, two popular types of multi-family housing.

1) Number of Shared Walls

Townhouses are typically part of a larger complex, with multiple units sharing walls on either side. Duplexes, on the other hand, consist of only two connected homes, with each owner sharing just one wall. A higher number of shared walls can lead to increased noise levels and less natural light, but often comes at a lower cost.

2) Condo Fees & Home Owners Association Fees

Townhomes often have condo fees or HOA fees to cover the maintenance of shared spaces and the exterior of the building. Duplexes, however, usually do not have such fees, as there are only two homeowners involved in decision-making and maintenance.

3) Size

Townhomes typically range from 1,000 to 1,400 square feet, while duplexes offer more space, ranging from 1,200 to 1,800 square feet. Duplexes also tend to have larger yards and garage options compared to townhouses.

4) Price

Townhomes are generally more affordable than duplexes, with prices ranging from the high $200,000s to the mid $300,000s. Duplexes typically start in the high $300,000s, with prices varying based on location, lot size, and additional features.

5) Privacy

While both townhomes and duplexes offer more privacy than apartment buildings and condos, duplexes generally provide more privacy due to sharing only one wall with a neighbor.

6) Exterior

Exterior changes, such as paint color or architectural modifications, are generally not allowed in townhomes, as they are part of a larger complex with a cohesive appearance. Duplexes, however, may allow for more exterior design freedom, as there are only two homeowners involved.

7) Yard

Duplexes usually have larger and more private yards compared to townhouses, which often have limited outdoor space. This makes duplexes a better option for those who prioritize outdoor living and gardening.

8) Maintenance

Exterior maintenance, such as snow removal and lawn care, is typically covered by condo or HOA fees in townhomes, whereas duplex owners are responsible for these tasks themselves. This can be a benefit for those who prefer a low-maintenance lifestyle.

In conclusion, the decision between a townhouse and a duplex depends on your preferences for size, price, privacy, exterior design, yard space, and maintenance responsibilities. By understanding the key differences between these two housing options, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs and lifestyle. To help you find the perfect home, consider working with a professional real estate agent like Jessica Fulk, who can guide you through the process and provide expert advice.