Hunting for a new home is such an exciting experience. Being able to envision yourself living in a special space is truly a gift. But, how do you choose? When it comes to downsizing your life, you have tons of options.
Townhouses and studio apartments are both great options, so how do you choose?
Here is everything you need to consider before deciding between a townhouse or an apartment for your family!
1) Privacy Concerns You Need To Think About
The one thing that concerns people the most regarding apartment and townhouses is the level of privacy.
Privacy is such a personal thing and everyone has their own comfort level.
When it comes to apartments and townhouses, how do they stack up? Here is everything you should consider about the privacy of each home to help your choice be clearer:
Privacy For Apartments
Depending on the set up of the apartment, the privacy may be different. Typically, apartment units are either in converted houses or buildings with several units.
One thing to keep in mind is that generally you and your family will occupy either a first or second-floor unit.
Both of these options have different concerns when it comes to privacy. A second-floor (or higher) unit means that shouldn’t have to deal with too much noise from the street level. However, you may have to slightly adjust how you live.
Being in a first-floor unit means that you won’t have anyone below you but you will have to deal with noise from your upstairs neighbors. Also, depending on how thin the walls are, you may be hearing much more from your neighbors than you wish.
So make sure to check how the walls are constructed (soundproofed!) before you move in.
The last thing to consider about privacy is apartments in the ventilation system. Older homes that were converted into apartment units often share vents.
This means that sound can easily travel. But, don’t count apartments out all together! Every home will have its own set of compromises. It just depends on whether or not your privacy is something you are willing to compromise on.
Privacy For Townhomes
Townhomes come with their own sense of privacy.
Townhouses are typically multi-level homes that share a wall on either one side or both sides with a neighbor. One of the biggest perks of a townhouse is that you don’t have to worry about people running around above or below you. This means that the noise that may keep you up from your neighbor’s pets running around upstairs won’t be a problem in townhomes.
However, this does raise new and different privacy concerns.
Particularly when it comes to the fact that you will be sharing walls. This all depends on the age of the home as well as the quality of construction.
One of the major upsides about living in a townhouse is that you will have your own access. Most apartments either have a common door or some sort of shared entryway. With a townhome, you can expect a lot more privacy than you would with an apartment.
Again, you will have to check how well the shared walls are insulated and soundproofed. This might not be something you can do something about at a later time.
2) Things To Consider About Amenities
We all like our homes to come with a certain kind of amenities. However, not all rental properties have extra perks to offer.
It will be up to you to decide what type of extras you want from your rental.
Here are some of the most asked about amenities among renters as well as how both apartments and townhouses stand up:
Shared Laundry Room?
Everyone knows the value of having an on-site laundry service. This not only helps to make life a little easier but, can also save you some cash. Running out to a local laundromat isn’t an option for everyone.
Especially those with kids.
Plus, having to run out to wash your families clothes is a huge time and money waster.
Finding an apartment with laundry can be tricky, but not impossible! However, you may find that most apartments use multi-unit washing machines which means you will have to share. While this may not be ideal, at least you will have an easy and quick way to wash your clothes.
Townhouses are built much more like traditional homes. This means that you are almost certain to find washing machine hook-ups in the home.
All you will have to do is buy your own machines and you are on your way to clean clothes. Best of all, you won’t have to share!
Another amenity that renters are concerned with is utilities. This includes water, electricity, heating, and cooling for your home.
Many renters prefer that their rentals come with at least one of these amenities for many different reasons. Mainly, to help keep the monthly costs low.
Your best bet for finding a rental that includes utilities will be an apartment complex. This is because these types of units operate on one power system.
This will help to save hundreds of dollars on utilities a month, but your rent may be higher.
One downside to shared utilities is that you won’t be able to customize your comfort level the same way. Because there is just one furnace per building, your landlord will have to regulate the heat and cooling.
In some older city apartments you will have to share the amount of heated water with a neighbor. This might be something you need to check.
You may not always be happy with how they choose to set it.
Townhouses offer more control when it comes to utilities. This is because townhomes are treated more like private residences. So, while you will be in charge of your utilities, you will also be paying for them.
When it comes to which type of residence wins the utility battle, it depends on which is more important to you.
A home is much more than a place to lay your head at the end of the night. It is the place where you and your family will build memories and grow.
So, finding a rental that is more than a couple of rooms and four walls is so important.
Apartments and Townhomes that are part of a community of townhouses often come with special extras. Extras like community pools as well as playgrounds are a great perk for families.
You can find plenty of apartment complexes that features like:
- Banquet facilities
Homes that have been transformed into apartment units also have their own type of recreational extras. Backyards offer a great place for outdoor activities and family parties.
However, if your apartment has multiple units, you will have to share these spaces with other tenants in the home.
3) Monthly Payments May Differ
How do townhomes and apartments compare when it comes to monthly payments?
Here are how the two stack up when it comes to having an effect on your wallet:
Cost Of An Apartment
According to a recent report, the average cost of an apartment in the US is $1000 per month. However, this amount includes more than just rent. This also includes utilities like electricity and water.
It is also important to note that this is for apartments that have at least 2 rooms.
If you are looking to rent a studio or single room apartment you need to see this. We have made a list of exactly how much a studio apartment costs in the biggest 54 cities.
Cost Of A Townhome
When comparing the average costs of apartments and townhouses, there is one major thing to keep in mind. Townhomes are not often used as rental properties. While you can find townhouses to lease, the majority of them are for purchase only.
So, are you prepared to purchase a home?
While townhouses are only half of the traditional homes, the average cost is around $150,000. While this is $100,000 less than the average of a traditional home, it is still a huge commitment.
But, there is good news too! Buying a home gives you the option of financing.
Most people find that their monthly mortgage payments are the same, and even sometimes less, than what they paid to rent a home.
This means that the money you pay will be an investment instead of ending up in a landlord’s pocket. However, you still will need to make a significant deposit.
Most mortgage loans require a deposit of at least 10% of the cost of the home before financing.
What Is (Most) Important To You?
While you can compare townhomes and apartments for hours, only one factor truly matters in your decision. What is important to you?
If you want space and privacy, perhaps a townhouse is right for you. If you are looking for less of a commitment and more charm, an apartment is a way to go.
Both apartments and townhomes come with their own perks but, they also come with their own problems. It is up to you to decide if the problems outway the extras.
When it comes to finding the best place for you and your family to live, you are in good hands with either option. Good luck!
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Maria is the founder of GoDownsize. While studying architecture in Denmark she became fascinated with designing living spaces for boats, tiny houses, RVs, and other small spaces.
She mainly writes about space optimization, interior design, and downsizing. She’s also in charge of our YouTube channel. Read more about Maria here.