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Understanding Townhouses and Duplexes: A Best Guide

Shared Walls: How Close Are Your Neighbors?

A big difference between townhouses and duplexes is the number of shared walls. Townhouses are multi-family homes with 3, 4, or 5 units in a row, meaning you’ll share walls with neighbors on both sides. Duplexes, however, only have two connected homes, so you’ll only share one wall. More shared walls in townhouses can mean more noise and less natural light, but they’re often cheaper than duplexes.

Condo Fees & HOA Fees: What’s the Cost?

Townhouses often have condo fees or HOA fees to cover maintenance and other expenses. These fees can be a deciding factor for some buyers, as they provide convenience but may be hard to manage on a tight budget. Duplexes usually don’t have these fees, making decisions and expenses easier to handle between the two homeowners.

Size Matters: How Much Space Do You Need?

Townhouses in Edmonton generally range from 1,000 to 1,400 square feet, making them great starter homes for young families. Duplexes offer more space, usually measuring between 1,200 and 1,800 square feet. They often come with single or double garages and share a divided yard with one other household, providing more outdoor space and privacy.

Price: What’s Your Budget?

Townhouses are generally more affordable, with prices ranging from the high $200,000s to the mid $300,000s. Duplexes, on the other hand, typically start in the high $300,000s price range. Prices can vary based on factors such as location, lot size, and garage type. Additionally, working with a real estate professional can provide valuable insights into the local market and assist in finding properties that meet your criteria.

Privacy: How Much Do You Value It?

Both townhouses and duplexes offer more privacy than apartments and condos, but duplexes provide slightly more privacy due to having only one shared wall. However, both home types can offer adequate privacy if well-constructed with sound party walls. Ultimately, the perceived value of privacy in duplexes versus townhouses can be subjective and depends on individual preferences, lifestyle, and specific property characteristics. When choosing between the two, potential residents should carefully assess the layout, community dynamics, and any governing rules that may impact their privacy expectations.

Exterior: Can You Make Changes?

Duplex owners may have more freedom to make small exterior changes than townhouse owners. While both property types may be subject to community style guidelines, duplex owners can potentially make changes in cooperation with their adjoining neighbor. Townhouses usually don’t allow for exterior cosmetic changes, helping maintain a cohesive curb appeal.

Yard: How Important Is Outdoor Space?

If having a spacious outdoor area is important to you, a duplex may be the better choice. Townhouses typically include a small grassy area in the front or back but may not have much yard space. Duplexes, however, generally have a larger and more private yard, offering more freedom and flexibility for outdoor activities and gardening.

Maintenance: Who’s Responsible?

Duplex homeowners are responsible for basic exterior maintenance, such as snow removal and lawn care. In contrast, townhouse owners usually don’t have to worry about grounds maintenance, as these tasks are covered by condo or HOA fees. This can make townhouses a more convenient option for those who prefer not to handle these tasks themselves or who travel frequently.

In conclusion, both townhouses and duplexes have their advantages and drawbacks. By considering factors such as shared walls, fees, size, price, privacy, exterior changes, yard space, and maintenance responsibilities, you can make an informed decision about which type of property is the best fit for your needs and lifestyle. If you need further assistance in finding the perfect home, consider reaching out to a real estate agent for guidance and support.