The word townhouse originally referred specifically to a homeowner’s house in town, rather than one of their country residences, but today it’s a byword for attractive, convenient urban living. This reputation is well earned; townhouses are generally less expensive than large detached properties, offer more privacy than apartments, and are lower maintenance than some single family homes. Renters and buyers alike can enjoy the benefits of townhouse living and, with so many attractive properties coming onto the market, there’s no time like the present to invest in this enduringly popular real estate trend.
Townhouses offer many of the benefits of traditional family homes, as well as some of the benefits of apartment living. Newer properties often come with the option of joining a homeowner’s association and for a small fee each month, the outdoor maintenance and gardening will often be taken care of for you. Having neighbours close by in a terraced street can also help improve home security and build a sense of community, encouraging residents to keep an eye out for each other and step in if assistance is needed.
Whether you’re purchasing a magnificent 18th century building, a smaller 19th century property, or part of a brand new development, townhouses tend to share certain characteristics. Although most townhouses are terraced, it’s not a prerequisite: some are free standing, while some only have one shared wall. Almost always tall, narrow buildings, they typically have three or more floors, with several rooms on each floor. One notable advantage of this layout is that it rules out any possibility of noisy neighbours moving in either above or below your home. In colder climates, this height has additional energy saving benefits: as heat rises, the bedrooms on higher floors of a townhouse are kept warm, keeping your carbon footprint and fuel bills low.
Townhouse interiors are often highly flexible, and can be redesigned to accommodate your specific needs – for example, altering non-structural walls to create a more open style of living, or building storage solutions under stairs and into alcoves to house precious possessions. As they offer more living space than most apartments, townhouses are a good option for retirees looking to downsize. Smaller properties may have similar measurements to a large apartment, but the additional floors present plenty of opportunities for privacy within the home. This also helps make them great rental properties, as renters are able to occupy different floors and so give one another space, converting basement or attic spaces into cosy shared living spaces.
As the name suggests, townhouses are most prevalent in cities. A central location and the enduring popularity of the building style makes it easy to find tenants if the decision is made to rent the property out. However, today it’s also possible to find townhouses in suburban and rural settings, so if you dream of living away from the bustle of the city centre or amongst rolling green hills, this style of property should still be an option.
You can search for townhouses in more than 38 countries at Engel & Völkers' website. Our experienced agents are always available to offer expert advice on finding a townhouse in some of the world’s most attractive cities to live and work.