Townhouse VS Detached House – Here’s What You Need to Know

By: ROS Team

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Buying or renting an apartment can be a stressful task as it takes a lot of time and energy. But if you already know the type of apartment you’re looking for based on factors like budget and lifestyle needs, the task can become much easier.

There are all types of apartments in New York City, but a few stand out– those apartment types are townhouses and detached houses. Before choosing to move into any of these, it’s important to know how they are unique from standard apartment buildings. So, in this guide, we will discuss the differences between living in a townhouse and a detached house.

What is a Townhouse?

A townhouse is a single-family building that shares multiple walls with neighboring homes. Townhouses typically have multiple stories and a small yard area space that is accessible to the entire community or the unit’s residents.

What is a Detached House?

As the name suggests, a detached house, or detached townhome, is a stand-alone home that doesn’t share walls with adjacent properties. Unlike townhouses, a detached house offers more privacy and has fewer restrictions.

Townhouse vs. Detached Townhouse – Comparison

1. Price

Townhouses are often located in more urban areas, and people who live in townhouses share amenities with the community. Also, homeowners have less control over the units. Therefore, townhouses tend to be more affordable than detached townhomes, which offer more exclusive access to amenities and rights to the property.

2. Privacy

Townhouses offer less privacy compared to detached townhouses due to the wall shared with the adjacent property. However, if you like living in a community with close proximity to your neighbors, townhouses are the way to go.

3. Accessibility

Townhouses are often built in smaller areas like industrial areas. As a result, they are usually more accessible. Conversely, detached homes are usually built away from commercial areas. If you aren’t comfortable living in close proximity to a noisy neighbor or you don’t want to share your backyard space as would in a townhouse, a detached house may work out better for you.

4. Size

Square footage is an important factor to consider when renting or buying an apartment. If you are a new couple or a growing family, townhouses may be the best choice. But if you have a large family, you may prefer a detached house instead.

5. Maintenance

Detached homes usually require more money and time for maintenance. However, homeowners have the flexibility to make major improvements to their houses. Townhouses, on the other hand, are built on smaller plots and often require less money and time for maintenance.

But townhouse owners don’t have the same flexibility as detached homeowners when it comes to the flexibility in making major improvements. This is because townhouses are usually governed by a homeowner’s association. The overall maintenance expense is divided among all the homeowners and is then included in the monthly rent.

What is a Semi Detached House?

There is another housing option – a semi-detached house – which should be discussed here. Semi-detached homes are single family homes that share only a small portion of space with adjacent properties. Unlike townhouses that share multiple walls, semi-detached homes only share one wall or a small portion of a wall.

Two semi-detached houses that share a wall will be identical in size.  You can even say they are mirror images of each other; if the common wall is a bathroom in one house, it will be a bathroom in the other as well.

Semi Detached Homes vs. Townhouses

Semi-detached homes and townhouses have their benefits and drawbacks. We have listed the pros and cons of each housing type below:

Pros of Semi Detached Homes:

  • Lower Price
  • Lower Maintenance Costs
  • More Space

Cons of Semi Detached Homes:

  • Less Privacy
  • More Noise
  • Homeowners must Arrange Repairs


Pros of Townhouses:

  • Affordability
  • Amenities
  • Less Maintenance

Cons of Townhouses:

  • Lower Resale Values
  • HOA Fees and Restrictions
  • Less Privacy


Who Should Buy a Townhouse?

First-time homebuyers or people who are just getting started living on their own are often the people who rent townhomes the most.

Who Should Buy a Detached Home?

Families with children and grandchildren usually rent or buy detached homes.

Who Should Buy a Semi Detached House?

If you don’t have the budget for a single-family home, consider going with a semi-detached house. Such houses are also a great option for investment purposes. Investing in semi-detached homes is an ideal way to own a house and earn profits.

What is the Difference Between a Townhouse and a Normal House?

A townhouse is a type of attached housing that shares one or more walls with adjacent units, while a normal house (also called a detached house or a single-family home) stands alone and is not attached to any other homes.

Why is it Called a Townhouse?

The term “townhouse” originally referred to a house in the city or town that was the primary residence of a wealthy family. These homes were typically multi-story and built close together on narrow lots to conserve urban space.

Are Townhouses Bigger than Houses?

Townhouses are typically smaller than traditional single-family homes or detached houses.

Is a Townhouse better than a Villa?

Whether a townhouse or villa is better depends on personal preferences, lifestyle, and budget. Some factors to consider when deciding between a townhouse and a villa are size, location, price, maintenance, and lifestyle.

Are Townhomes the Future?

Yes, you can say that, because townhomes are becoming increasingly popular as a housing option, particularly in urban and suburban areas where space is limited and land costs are high.

Are Townhouses Soundproof?

Townhouses are not completely soundproof, but they can be designed to reduce noise transmission between units.

Is it Worth it to Buy a Townhouse?

Whether or not it is worth it to buy a townhouse depends on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and financial situation.

Is Selling a Townhouse Hard?

Selling a townhouse is not necessarily harder than selling other types of properties.

Is a Townhouse a Good Rental Property?

Renting out a townhouse comes with its own set of challenges, such as finding and managing tenants, dealing with maintenance issues, and complying with local regulations.

Can you Change the Structure of a Townhouse?

It is more difficult to make structural changes to a townhouse compared to a single-family home because townhouses share walls with neighboring units and often have an HOA that oversees the community.

Final Words

Choosing a townhouse, semi-detached house, or detached house is a matter of personal preference. Your choice largely depends on things like family size, lifestyle, budget, and location. Every housing type has its pros and cons, so before you make the final call, keep in mind the points discussed in this guide.