A townhouse is the perfect sweet spot for families looking for a better home — whether you’re a new couple about to get married, a family with teens upgrading to a bigger and better home, or an empty nester looking to sell the old big house and move to a smaller new house. A townhouse has a good cross between the big space — and budget — of a house and lot vis a vis the small space of a residential condominium.
Looking for the right townhouse to call “home” can be a daunting task as you don’t want to make the wrong decision. While the budget is indeed important, there are several factors to consider to make sure all the stars are aligned.
Here’s a checklist for what to consider — whether you’re a first-time buyer, looking for a second home, or downsizing:
1. Location that matches your needs
Proximity to what’s important to you should be a primary consideration. If you have small children, you should consider staying close to school. You want at least one major part of your family to be near your new townhouse. Normally, it’s safer to put the kids’ route closer to home and just have the dad travel the farthest.
If you work at night, choose a location where security personnel are visible and public transportation is accessible. Also, consider proximity to your inner circle like family, church, and social connections.
2. An affordable budget range for you
There’s nothing more heartbreaking than discovering the townhouse of your dreams — only to discover it’s out of your price range. A strategy is to set a target ideal townhouse price point and a possible stretch budget as your price ceiling. Should the budget come up short, as a rule of thumb, a 30 -50% home loan to cover for the budget gap should be reasonable. Just make sure you calculate the monthly amortization and you make sure your net income — after paying for household expenses — will have enough to pay for the bank loan.
3. Growth and expansion
You may have only one or two children now, but you have to factor possible extra kids, or a senior parent who may eventually move in with you. Most townhouses have two to three floors, making them more spacious than condominiums. Choose one that can accommodate all your needs plus have a 20-30% space allowance for growth. An extra room, a roof deck, courtyard are all perks that might feel unnecessary at the onset, but will surely be appreciated as your family expands.
4. Outdoor space and common areas
Not all townhouses have common play areas like a swimming pool, basketball court and jogging areas. At first, these areas may make your townhouse feel more pricey, but in the long run, these features will surely be a plus to your overall health and wellness. A compound with open landscape areas and extra parking for visitors is also a big plus.
5. Support rooms and utilities
Since townhouses are in between a big house and a tight condominium, extra rooms like a kitchen pantry, maid’s room and toilet, driver’s room, storage, balcony, roof sun deck will bring up prices of the property. But if you can afford it, these support utilities will surely be beneficial to your living experience.
6. A safe place to park, load and unload
You could be in luck as townhouses often come with a parking space. But then again, there are some townhouses that don’t have one. So, in order to feel comfortable and secure, make sure that the townhouse you have chosen has at least one parking space. Most families have 1 to 3 cars, depending on their financial status.
Street parking may be presented as an option at the onset. However, always consider a secure parking within your property as the most secure option. A townhouse compound with extra guests parking is a big plus for your visitors
7. Security and peace
More than the view, the amenities, the bedrooms and space, peace of mind and security is of utmost importance when finalizing your new townhouse. Check the neighborhood if it is a peaceful area for coming home late, and check your neighbors to see if they abide by homeowner rules.
In addition, the structure has to be designed and developed with quality and structural integrity, and the perimeter and gate secure, to make sure your family is safe and at peace while inside your new townhouse.
8. COVID-19 and work-from-home in the new normal
The COVID-19 pandemic brought about new ways of designing our homes, including Grab delivery pick-up and drop-off points, a sanitation area for goods before entering the house, shoe cabinets near the main entry, and more storage in case of a lockdown. An exercise roof deck or balcony has also proven to be beneficial for our daily dose of Vitamin D.
Finding an area to be your home office / home school / home classroom area is now a necessity. An extra room, an attic or a basement room for a man cave is a plus, moving ahead of the new normal. This may be possible due to the large space that a townhouse offers.
If all these eight considerations are aligned, then I congratulate you in finding your new future home. It’s never easy to look for a townhouse to live in. I wish you well. Enjoy the hunt!
About the author
Carl Dy shares his 20 years of experience in real estate through his videos and articles. He is an architect by education and spent the 1st decade of his work life with Philippines biggest developer Ayala Land Inc. He is a real estate management graduate of the Harvard Business School.
For more information, you can contact him through his one-hour private coaching sessions at www.facebook.com/