Townhome and Multi-Home Units
A Townhome, or Multi-Home Unit Inspection, is a visual, non-invasive inspection of the various systems and components in the Property, The Inspection is Not to identify the normal wear and tear to re-negotiate the purchase contracts. The purpose is to identify material defects and the condition of the Condo. Material defects include structural, life and safety defects or defects that may be expensive to remedy.
This Inspection is also to inform Existing Home Owners and First Time Investors of some of the Operational and Maintenance Considerations of the Established Property.
What Makes It A Townhouse?
A townhouse is very similar to the concept of a duplex (or triplexes or quadplexes). They are separate living spaces that share a wall with each other. They too have their own yards, their own bathrooms, their own kitchens, and so on and so forth. A lot of the time you will see a townhouse with two living spaces, but it is also common to see more than two together.
How townhouses differ from other multi-unit buildings?
The main difference between townhouses and the rest of the multi-unit buildings listed is ownership. A townhouse is not a rental, instead the occupant owns the living space. However that is not all, they also own the portion of the yard, both front and back, that is designated to their house— if there is any. A mortgage for a townhouse operates the same way that a mortgage for a home would, the rights to change things are virtually the same unless it interferes with the adjoining neighbor or neighbors or if an agreement or regulation is in place.
Pros and Cons to living in a Townhouse
There are a lot of pros to moving into a townhouse. You have the same kind of control over changes made to the townhouse as you would with a normal single-family unit (barring any regulations or agreements with the adjoining neighbor or neighbors). This means you can paint the inside of your townhouse, in some cases the outside as well, without having to get approval. If you want to change the carpet, you can. The possibilities are endless.
The two biggest cons are the sharing of a wall and the slight restrictions to changes that come with a townhouse like we mentioned earlier. However, these kinds of problems are really location specific so it really depends on the townhouse, the HOA for the area, and so on and so forth. So, it is advised that you take a very close look at all the rules and regulations you will be under before purchasing one.
What Makes It A Duplex?
A residential duplex is a term generally applied to a property that was originally intended to be a single property with two units. Instead of being designed for one living space, it is made to house two separate living spaces that usually share one or more walls.
Typically, a duplex is laid out in a side-by-side arrangement. Other options include an older large home converted into two units. Some are the “up and down” type of two-family homes.
Usually, when looking at a duplex it will look like a large house, but it will have two entrances to the two separate living spaces. Inside each unit will have all the rooms you would expect in a single-family home including bathrooms, a kitchen, bedrooms, etc. On some occasions there will also be two garage doors.
There are also triplexes and quadplexes that are the same concept but they have 3 and 4 living spaces, respectively, instead of the two in the duplex.
How a duplex differs from other multi-unit buildings?
The biggest difference between a duplex and a townhouse or condo is ownership. In a duplex, the entire building is owned by a single person and both sides are rented out. Now, that isn’t to say that a person can’t buy the building and live on one side of the duplex. This actual happens quite often. Instead of renting out both halves of the duplex the owner will occupy one of them and rent out the other half.
Renters of duplexes don’t own anything, just like in a rental home. They are given yard space, usually, but that is rented as well. They will have to ask for permission from the landlord to make any changes as well.
Pros and cons to living in a duplex
Most of the time renting a duplex will give the renter more freedom than an apartment for less money than a rental home. It is the perfect middle step for people who are tired of the apartment lifestyle but can’t afford the monthly payments of a whole rental home. (This is not a guarantee however, some duplex units might actually cost more— it all depends on the unit, its owners, and its location.) It is important to remember that they are still renters as well. They don’t build equity as time goes on. They also don’t have the right to do things like paint, change the carpet, and so on without permission from the owner.