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Townhouse vs. Duplex: Understanding the Differences


When it comes to finding the perfect home, understanding duplex townhome investing difference between various types of properties is essential. In this article, we will explore the key distinctions between townhouses and duplexes to help you make an informed decision when searching for your dream home. So, let’s dive into the world of real estate and uncover the unique features of these two popular property types. Investing in duplexes and townhomes involves different considerations, and each type of property comes with its own set of advantages and challenges.

1. Number of Shared Walls

One of the most significant differences between townhouses and duplexes is the number of shared walls. A townhouse is part of a multi-family housing complex, typically featuring 3, 4, or 5 units in a row. Consequently, many units will share walls on either side. It’s common to share walls duplexes and townhouses with neighboring units. On the other hand, a duplex consists of two connected homes, with each owner owning half the property and sharing just one wall.

2. Condo Fees & Home Owners Association Fees

Condo fees, or HOA fees, are another factor that sets the two apart. Townhomes often include a governing board to oversee the maintenance of the grounds and buildings, collecting fees for tasks such as roofing, landscaping, and snow removal. Duplexes, however, do not usually include such fees, as there are only two homeowners involved in making key decisions and expenditures.

3. Size and Space

In general, townhomes are smaller than duplexes, with sizes typically ranging from 1,000 to 1,400 square feet. Garage and yard space may also be more limited in townhouses, although some models feature single attached garages. Duplexes offer homeowners more space, averaging between 1,200 to 1,800 square feet, and can have single or double garages, as well as shared, divided yards.

4. Price

When it comes to price, townhomes are often more affordable than duplexes, with prices ranging from the high $200,000s to the mid $300,000s. Duplexes tend to start in the high $300,000s price range, with prices varying depending on factors such as location, lot size, and garage type.

5. Privacy

While both townhomes and duplexes offer more privacy than apartment buildings and condos, duplexes provide slightly more privacy due to having only one shared wall. In a townhome, multiple homes are connected to one another, meaning you may notice your neighbors more frequently.

6. Exterior Flexibility

If you’re considering making exterior changes to your home, you may find that a duplex offers more freedom than a townhouse. Duplex owners may be able to make small changes in cooperation with their adjoining neighbor, while townhome owners typically cannot make any architectural or aesthetic modifications.

It’s important to note that the degree of exterior flexibility can vary widely based on specific community rules, local regulations, and the presence or absence of homeowners’ associations. Any exterior modifications are likely subject to approval and compliance with established guidelines to maintain the overall visual harmony of the community or property.

7. Yard Space

For those who prioritize outdoor space, a duplex may be a better fit. Townhouses usually have limited yard space, while duplexes generally offer larger, more private yards. This additional space allows for greater freedom and flexibility when it comes to landscaping and outdoor activities.

8. Maintenance Responsibilities

Finally, maintenance responsibilities key differences between duplex and townhouse. Townhome owners often don’t need to worry about exterior maintenance, as it is covered by condo or HOA fees. Duplex owners, on the other hand, are responsible for basic exterior maintenance such as snow shoveling and grass cutting.

In conclusion, both townhouses and duplexes have their unique advantages and drawbacks. If you’re looking to buy a home near your desired location, consider these differences to help you make the best choice for your lifestyle and budget.