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Townhouse Vs. Duplex; Which is Better Real Estate 

August 11, 2020

Investing in real estate is not a thing you do every day. Hence, when it comes to the point of choosing the property that suits your needs, the first thing you should do is thorough research. Both townhouses and duplex may be used either as family units or as rental facilities.

Possibilities develop further whether you want to live there or earn from the property, or even both, under specific circumstances. Certain pros and cons are associated with both of these assets. Nevertheless, as much as they may seem similar there are multiple features making them different. We will try to identify the main reasons for investing in this type of property and make you familiar with their varieties. You will choose between having a terrace with the back yard and having fewer neighbors. That and many more features are to be discussed in the rows below.

What are Townhouses?

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The townhouse represents a single-family building usually located in a row of buildings. In Great Britain, they are also called terraced houses, since having a terrace is a usual feature. What is characteristic about a townhouse is that it shares either one or more walls with its neighbors. Typically, townhouses are two stories tall but can go even higher than that. They often have either a backyard or a front yard, sometimes even both, depending on the location.

Having a backyard automatically means a two-side orientation of the building, making more useful space suitable for families with children. The specific thing about the townhouses is that their owners are obliged to follow certain rules regarding the maintenance of the sole building. Depending on the condo, the owner’s duty is to worry about either the front yard, front exterior or roof, or even altogether. His obligations are declared by Homeowner Association. Also, owners pay the so-called HOA fee once a month, and that money serves for maintenance purposes done by the association.

Pros of Having a Townhouse

Although townhouses are part of a larger condominium, the single units are spatially detached. That is what gives you a sense of privacy since you do not have to see your neighbors all the time. Having plenty of room is what characterizes this type of property. Being 2 or 3 stories high gives the impression of a spacious living unit adequate for families with children. Therefore, the detachment and having plenty of room is what makes a townhouse similar to a single-family home. A worthy thing to mention is the cost-effectiveness resulted in the walls shared among neighbors.

Cons of Having a Townhouse

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When it comes to the appreciation, cases where townhouses fail to deliver are not that rare. On the other hand, there are companies that may change that and have been doing it for years. Sadly, changing the exterior often depends on the whole condominium, hence single improvements are not always possible.

Other than that, paying fees never come handy, and HOA fees are obligatory. Another matter regarding maintenance is that you may be responsible for roof upkeep. Condo owners do not have that problem, but they pay bigger fees to Homeowner Association.

What are Duplexes?

When we say duplex, a single house with two separate units is what we mean. The two units may be one next to another, or one on top of another, either way, one wall is shared between them. Also, they have separate entrances. What differentiates duplex from a townhouse is that duplex is a stand-alone type of asset, unlike the townhouse, which is a single unit neighbored by other single units.

Another characteristic feature of duplexes is that they can be house hacked. This term implies that you may live in one unit, while the other one is rented. In order to achieve this, you may need to consult professionals from a building company to rearrange your duplex and reconstruct it according to your wishes. You can read more about house hacking and other similar construction endeavors at SilverlineHomes.

Pros of Having a Duplex

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The aforementioned house hacking is a feature typical of duplexes. Not only will you be able to earn from your asset, but you can be sure everything remains safe by daily supervision. Numerous are examples where people paid their mortgages by renting one unit of their duplex while living in the other.

One more thing concerning the mortgage. Certain banks tend to include possible profit acquired from future rent as a part of your income statement. You may also get a better interest rate when buying a property in which you will make your place of residence.

On the other hand, if you have no intention of renting a place, but intend to live on your own or with your family, a duplex is a place that would secure as much privacy as a free-standing family house. Considering the spaciousness, it may provide, duplexes are ideal for both families with children and couples with pets.

Cons of Having a Duplex

Not every person out there is happy to have roommates. If you rent your duplex unit, you will be in the position of a landlord. Therefore, establishing some ground rules should be your job. Finding the right roommate may be troublesome, but it is a solvable issue. Maintaining the balance between the role of both landlord and roommate is the key ingredient to the solution of this issue.

Maintenance of the asset falls to the owner only. There are no tolls to pay as if you were a townhouse owner, but maintaining the whole building and its surroundings remain your duty. Namely, it is not obligatory, but it definitely affects the value of the property and it is in the owner’s interest to uphold it regularly.

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After taking all the aforementioned into account, choosing the adequate real estate should be a little easier, if possible. Both properties have their own characteristic features making them unique, so the final decision should be made regarding both budget and needs of a future owner. Whether you are looking for a place to live in, or you are in a pursuit for a business endeavor, thorough research is your best friend.

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