Buying a townhouse in the Greater Toronto Area is a great idea. For many, a townhome can be a great first investment, it’s not as heavy on the pocket a detached home, but provides more space than an apartment. With more and more townhome complexes popping up across the GTA, here are my tips and thoughts if you’re in the market for yours.
Townhouses are actually more affordable when compared to other types of homes. They also have a very distinct style and that alone can be a major advantage. Sure, not everyone might like the design of a townhouse. But for the most part, this is a great way to save money when you buy your own home. This can often be a stepping stone before you go after bigger properties.
Scary maintenance fees
In some cases, townhouses can be quite expensive. The upside here is that you have the overall community taking care of things like maintenance and landscaping. Even if the maintenance fees are higher, in exchange the property management company takes care of things like landscaping, repairs and more. Before signing a contract, take a good look at the contract to understand the maintenance fees, and their annual rise estimates.
Will you have privacy when you buy a townhouse? It depends on the location. In the GTA you do tend to have some privacy, but not all townhouses are built the same way, and the answer really depends on where you’re buying. In the downtown core, where space is at a premium, be prepared for less space and less privacy. In the suburbs, you can often find townhomes that are a little more spacious when it comes to seeing your neighbours. Remember though, in a townhome you’re always surrounded on two sides by other homes so your privacy is always limited.
Remember the rules
There are some townhouses that live in communities with specific restrictions. Some require you to have a very specific amount of space in the backyard for example. In other cases you might also end up with noise restrictions. Some may limit what you can do on the exterior, or have specific rules for parking and guests. Read these carefully to ensure there are no surprises when you move in.
Be mindful of moving
Is it easy to access the townhouse, or is it difficult? Things like shared driveways, accessibility, public pathways all start to matter quite a lot when it comes to moving. Remember to take this into consideration when planning your move, while easier than an apartment, you could still run into barriers – especially if you’re moving large items.
Don’t forget your neighbors
You do want to figure out what kind of neighbors you will have. Neighbors can be either a blessing or a constant headache. The truth is that not all neighbors are the same, and that’s why you want to take these things seriously. Making sure that you know at least a few things about who is your neighbor before you move, and strike up good relationships where possible. Remember, you’ll be living wall-to-wall with them for the foreseeable future.
When you’re set to buy, getting a townhome can be a great strategy to adopt depending on your circumstances. If you don’t mind trading a bit of privacy for substantially reduced costs, then a townhouse can be a no-brainer – especially if you’re moving from an apartment.