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Duplex vs Townhouse: What’s the Difference? 

Duplex vs Townhouse: What’s the Difference?

When looking for a new home, most people want something more private. However, private homes with big lawns can often cost quite a bit more than some of the other options. That doesn’t mean you need to get an apartment, though. 

Duplexes and townhouses are the middle ground between buying a house and renting in an apartment building. They offer more affordability without having an upstairs and downstairs neighbor.

What’s the difference between a duplex vs townhouse, then? 

What is a Townhouse?

A townhouse complex is a type of multi-floor terraced housing that is attached to adjacent properties. At most, you’ll have two of your outer walls shared with two properties next to yours. Each property operates separately with its own distinct entrance.

Townhouse apartments are often built to form a distinct community with uniform housing. They’re less expensive than a detached single-family home, and they require less maintenance.

However, they’re also often run by a homeowners association. An HOA can apply restrictions such as what kind of paint you can use and what decorations are allowed on your front porch. 

Keep in mind that even though you won’t have any upstairs or downstairs neighbors, you still have to deal with one to two shared walls. 

What is a Duplex?

A duplex is a multi-family home that has two units attached to each other. They share the same building and a common wall, but the floor plan can vary between the two. 

While the townhouse definition is similar to a duplex, a duplex always has two units to the same building. These units can exist next to one another or on top of each other. In the latter case, the top and bottom floors act as separate homes

Depending on the duplex, you may have total privacy with the exception of a shared wall or more limited privacy with an upstairs neighbor. 

Duplex vs Townhouse

When comparing a duplex vs a townhouse, consider its ownership and privacy.

Buying a duplex allows you to rent out a unit, which can generate extra income. You may run into the occupants more often, however. 

Townhouses for sale often come with additional HOA fees. While there are benefits to a homeowners association, they’re not optional. As such, you may find yourself paying more than expected. 

Existing common areas are another consideration. Townhouses may come with communal spaces. Meanwhile, duplexes share a yard and driveway. 

Take a look at your area’s available Fieldstone Homes to see your options.

A New Home and Community

Now that you know the pros and cons of a duplex vs a townhouse, you can purchase the best option for your lifestyle. A duplex can mean fewer neighbors but a shared yard. Living in a townhouse means dealing with a homeowner’s association but often comes with additions like a pool or park.

If you’re interested in learning more about real estate and similar topics, check out our other articles. 

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