Townhouses are an attractive option for buyers as they offer more space and freedom than a condo. They are also more affordable than single family homes, and tend to be close to urban areas, which cuts down on long commutes. They are especially useful for retired people, families with children attending school, or people looking for a community feeling. The large number of listings on property websites and on real estate agent’s lists does make it difficult to narrow your choices down to a few places to view, however. If you are a first time buyer, then it is even more of a confusing situation to be in. This quick guide should help you locate where the best townhouses are and what you should consider while browsing.
- City Centre or Suburb
You are probably looking for somewhere urban rather than rural, but even the average town has a lot of choice regarding neighbourhoods. City centre buildings are more convenient for work and other amenities but they cost a lot more money, might not have decent parking, and are sometimes further away from larger supermarkets. Suburban areas tend to have more space, an increased feeling of community, and a lower price tag. However, you will have to spend more time commuting and will be further away from convenient services and leisure facilities.
Whatever you choose will be dependent on your own needs and preferences, all of which you should decide on before you begin your search. Calculate how much money you will save on commuting if you go for the city centre, as it may be worth the slightly larger mortgage.
- New or Old
While condos make up the majority of new housing projects, there are still a number of brand new townhouses being built throughout Asia and across the globe. Again, the drawback of these new developments is that they are expensive. They do, however, contain fewer of the issues that come with older properties. While you might consider a new build out of your price range, compare the cost of maintenance, repair work, or additional commuting that would come with an older building to see if it would actually be more affordable in the end. Housing advice website Bob Vila says that the kitchen can be the most expensive and inconvenient room to renovate. If you are looking at a house that needs a new kitchen, you might want to cross it off of your list. Once again, take all of your personal preferences and your financial situation into consideration before you make the decision.
3. Reduce Your Search
You can check out every townhouse for sale in the area you are interested in with a property search widget, such as the one from DD Property. Use the search functions to make up a shortlist based on the preferences you made in the above steps and you can reduce your choices down from a few hundred to perhaps a dozen or less. This will give you a much more manageable number to begin your viewings.
Many homes, especially in new developments, come with a number of different amenities and communal spaces. Most of these are luxuries, such as a pool or a fitness room, which are nice to have but not essential. Others may be necessary for you, such as a crèche or a laundry room. You will typically have to pay some kind of Homeowner’s Association fee to be eligible to use these services, so consider this in your budget as well. While you are searching through the property sites or talking to your real estate agent, list your wants and needs for your new home, decide if your budget can extend to the ‘wants’, and eliminate anything unnecessary from your search.
5. Follow Your Instincts
If you have reduced your viewing list to a few properties that match your requirements, the best way to choose your ideal residence, according to Forbes, is to trust your instincts. While it is never wise to latch onto the first house you see or make a decision too quickly, if you can begin to imagine where you would put your furniture or how you could use each room, then that is a good sign that you have found the right place for you. If you have eliminated any addresses that don’t meet your requirements or your budget before viewing, you won’t become attached to a property which isn’t suitable or is too expensive.
Making the decision of which home to buy is a difficult one that shouldn’t be treated lightly, but thankfully, property search widgets combined with advice from your real estate agent will help make it so much easier. Careful planning and consideration will help you to find the townhouse of your dreams without breaking your budget.