Buying a Townhouse? Here’s everything you need to know!
To buy or not to buy a townhouse? That is the question. So, we thought we’d share the low down with you on what you need to consider when determining if a townhouse is the right investment for you.
What Is A Townhouse?
A townhouse is a type of higher density home usually with one or two common walls designed to offer you house-like features (eg privacy, security, low maintenance, independence and so on) at a more affordable price point.
Architecture and Design
Historically speaking, townhomes were narrow two or three storey terraced buildings, typically situated in the city (or town). This is where the name originated.
Townhomes today come in many forms and locales. The common denominator that defines them is that the residence is not free-standing, but structurally attached to another premises. Typically nowadays you will find them in the suburbs as two or three storey buildings in a row, or in a pair with a common wall. Townhouses often make the most of land value, as they are designed to use as much space and enjoy as much light as possible.
Are Townhouses a Good Investment?
Townhouses are proving to be excellent investments in Australia. Typically costing a lot less than the median house price, they allow buyers to live in more appealing areas than they might otherwise be able to afford. Indeed, they are progressively becoming the preferred home investment for at least two major demographic groups – namely young families and downsizing retirees. As a result, demand is outstripping supply in many suburbs. In addition, community pushback against overdevelopment that results in medium- and high-density living is helping drive up capital gains on these homes in many areas. This is likely to increase moving forward, reducing the number of available townhouses.
Appeal of Townhouse Vs House Vs Apartment
With some of a townhouse’s structures being shared (for example, connecting walls and driveways), responsibilities and costs for maintenance and upkeep are shared with neighbours accordingly. This is less expensive than upkeep of a standalone house which is entirely your responsibility. In a development where there are two or more townhouses, it is usually strata titled and an Owners Corporation manages this on your behalf.
The benefits of being part of an owners corporation, whether for townhouse or apartment living, include less personal physical work on the management of your property’s shared spaces, a lower overall dollar spend on facility access and upkeep as costs are shared, and more interaction with your neighbours.
Owners Corporate rules governing townhouse owners are typically less restrictive than those for apartment living. Indeed, while buying an apartment can be even less expensive than purchasing a townhouse, the on-going maintenance and management fees are often higher (due to amenities such as underground carparks, lifts and swimming pools for example, as often seen in these buildings). Plus, you don’t own much of the land in comparison.
Day to day, the practical differences are:
- House owners have more privacy, more choice and more land, but this comes at a cost in terms of price point and maintenance of things such as the building and gardens
- Apartments have the least amount of land, privacy and maintenance (as common areas are managed by the Owners Corporation), however they are the most affordable option
- Townhouses are in between the two, and are often seen as the best value and balance all things considered
Now you’ve identified the appeal of townhouses, let’s investigate what to look out for should you be in the market to purchase one.
What else to Look for When Buying a Townhouse
You’ll need to consider the layout of the specific property, especially as these are often across multiple storeys. If you’re purchasing an investment property, you’ll also need to consider the type of tenants you want to attract.
You should also factor in the microeconomic qualities that may affect the appeal of your townhouse (as you would for any dwelling). For example, assess the location with regards to:
- Access to public transport services and link roads
- Access to employment opportunities
- Availability of municipal services (hospitals, schools, shops, libraries, airports, etc.)
- The local environment (safety, nature and recreational trails, parks, etc.)
The location, or area you want to live in, is arguably your most important consideration. In the suburbs where house prices doubled (or more) in the last 5-years, location was a major influencer of growth. And as townhouses are cheaper to purchase than houses, you get more home for your money, and it may mean you can purchase in a suburb you could otherwise not afford.
Consideration should also be given to the shared responsibilities and costs with the other townhouse owners (the Owners Corporation fees) as these are on-going expenses.
Townhouses at Eynesbury Estate
Just 40 minutes outside of Melbourne’s CBD, townhomes at Eynesbury are carefully designed to complement the standalone houses with traditional weatherboard construction, peaked roofs, and generous front veranda’s. They are ideal investments for those looking to be a part of an interactive yet peaceful environment. So, if you’re looking for a magnificent home or investment, and want to see what this new opportunity offers, enquire now, then come and take a look at this remarkable locale. It could be the perfect place just for you.