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Understanding the Difference Between a Townhouse and a Duplex

Townhouses and duplexes are both popular multi-family housing options for those looking to save money on a home and don’t mind sharing walls. While they may seem similar, there are some key differences between the two. In this article, we will explore these differences and help you decide which option is best for your needs.

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 larger multi-family housing complex and can include multiple units in a row or stacked on top of each other. This means that townhouse residents typically share walls with neighbors on both sides.

On the other hand, a duplex consists of two connected homes, with each owner owning half of the building. As a result, duplex residents only share one wall with their neighbor. Fewer shared walls can lead to lower noise levels and more natural light in the living spaces, as windows can be located on external walls. However, this may also come with a higher cost compared to townhouses.

2) Duplex For Sale: Condo Fees & Homeowners Association Fees

Another key difference between townhouses and duplexes is the presence of condo or homeowners association (HOA) fees. Since townhouses are part of a larger complex, there is often a governing board responsible for overseeing the maintenance and upkeep of the buildings and grounds. This can include tasks like roof repairs, landscaping, and snow removal. To cover these costs, residents typically pay condo or HOA fees.

Duplexes, however, usually do not have these fees, as there are only two homeowners involved in making decisions about maintenance and repairs. However, some communities or developers may impose HOA fees, so it’s important to ask your builder about this during your search.

3) Size and Space

When it comes to size, townhouses tend to be smaller than duplexes. Townhouses in Edmonton, for example, can range from 1,000 to 1,400 square feet, making them ideal starter homes for young families. Yard and garage space can also be more limited in townhouses, although some models do include single attached garages.

Duplexes, on the other hand, offer more space, with sizes typically ranging from 1,200 to 1,800 square feet. Duplex homes can have single or double garages and share a divided yard with one other household. This extra space and privacy can be appealing to many homebuyers.

4) Townhouse For Sale: Price

The price of a townhouse or duplex can also be a deciding factor for homebuyers. Townhouses are generally more affordable, with prices ranging from the high $200,000s to the mid $300,000s. Duplexes, on the other hand, tend to start in the high $300,000s price range. Factors such as location, lot size, and garage type can all impact the final price of the home.

5) Privacy and Noise

Both townhouses and duplexes offer more privacy than apartment buildings and condos, as residents are not boxed in by neighbors. However, duplexes do offer slightly more privacy, as they are only attached to one other home. Well-constructed shared walls can help reduce noise and smells between homes, providing adequate privacy in both townhouses and duplexes.

6) Exterior and Yard

When it comes to exterior changes and yard space, duplexes often offer more freedom and flexibility than townhouses. Duplex residents typically have a larger, more private yard, which can be appealing to those with pets or a green thumb. Townhouses, on the other hand, usually have smaller outdoor spaces and may not allow for exterior cosmetic changes.

7) Maintenance Responsibilities

Lastly, maintenance responsibilities can vary between townhouses and duplexes. In a townhouse, basic exterior maintenance like snow removal and lawn care is often covered by condo or HOA fees, providing a more worry-free living experience. Duplex owners, however, are typically responsible for their own exterior maintenance tasks.

Ultimately, the choice between a townhouse and a duplex will depend on your individual needs and preferences. By understanding the key differences between these two housing options, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect home near you.