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Town House vs House Differences.

Updated on October 24, 2017

Town Home Versus Single Family Home

Single Family House

Single Family House
Single Family House | Source

Town Home Versus Single Family Home

My family and I have lived in a single family home in the Midwest and a Town Home in Northern Virginia.

Both are nice, but there is definitely a difference.

Both have their pro's and con's.

My husband and I have a 5 year old son and a 3 year old daughter, so I will also give you tips on which home to choose if you have small children.

When it comes down to it, you have to find something within your budget, a decent distance from work and with most of the qualities you desire in a home.

Here is some information to make your home-buying decision easier.

Town Home Living

Living In A Town Home.
Living In A Town Home. | Source

Are You Thinking Of Buying A Town Home?

Town homes, also called town houses, are homes that are connected to other homes.

You will be sharing a wall or two with your neighbor.

Most town homes are 2-3 stories tall. Normally, the newer ones are 3 stories tall.

Town homes are built upward, so there are lots of stairs.

Most town homes that I have seen include: the bottom floor (which is usually a garage and a basement), the main floor is on the second level and the bedrooms are on the third level.

My town home is a little different. We have an alley behind our and our neighbor's town home. We are very lucky to have a 2 car garage lining the alley.

Then we have a courtyard with a privacy fence to divide our yard from our neighbors yard.

Since our garage is not connected to our house, we have three levels of living space.

Our first floor is made up of a living room, dining room, kitchen, large closet and 1/2 bath.

Our second floor is made up of two bedrooms, a family room, a full bathroom and a laundry closet.

Our third floor is made up of a den, master bedroom, master bathroom and a huge closet.

Our town home is a little over 2400 square feet! It's larger than our single family home in the Midwest!

Advantages Of Owning A Town Home


  • get exercise when going up and down the stairs.
  • Costs less than a single family home.
  • A lot less maintenance.
  • A sense of community since you are so close to all of your neighbors
  • Less yard work.
  • Decorating the front of the house for holidays costs a lot less.
  • Can get more upgrades for less money.
  • Utility bills are much lower.
  • Less to clean.
  • Usually comes with tons of storage space.
  • Usually town homes are closest to amenities like the clubhouse and schools.
  • Town homes sell quickly (the town homes in my neighborhood last about a week or less before they are sold).
  • More people looking our for each other.
  • Living in an inner unit provides more security from any severe weather.

Disadvantages Of Owning A Town Home


  • Lots of stairs.
  • Your home is connected to your neighbor(s).
  • Smaller yard.
  • Not as much privacy.
  • Kitchens are smaller.
  • Walking upstairs or through back yard to bring your groceries in from the garage.
  • Have to go to a community mailbox area in your neighborhood to pick up your mail.
  • Not so good for people with joint problems (hip/knee) or parents with newborn babies.

Single Family Home Living


Are You Thinking Of Buying A Single Family Home?

Single family homes are detached homes with their own yards.

They could be in a neighborhood or on their own lot (usually in the country).

You could buy anything from a ranch (one-story house) with no basement to a sprawling 2-3 story house with a basement.

There is a lot of variety in styles and sizes of single family homes.

Normally, the main living level (living room, dining room and kitchen) is on the first floor.

Bedrooms are located on the second floor.

There may or may not be a basement. Basements are either finished (with fully functional rooms) or unfinished (used as storage space).

My family and I lived in a single family ranch-style home when we lived in the Midwest.

It was nice when the kids were first born.

No stairs to walk up and down!

We had a large, fenced-in back yard.

Advantages Of Owning A Single Family Home


  • Little or no stairs.
  • Larger yard.
  • More privacy.
  • Kitchens are usually larger.
  • Garage is connected to house's main level. Easier to bring groceries to kitchen.
  • You have your own mailbox in front of your house.
  • Better for people with newborn babies or people with joint issues (less stairs).

Disadvantages Of Owning A Single Family Home


  • Costs more than a town home.
  • A lot more maintenance.
  • More yard work.
  • Decorating the front of the house for holidays costs a lot more.
  • Utility bills are much higher.
  • More to clean.
  • Less people looking out for each other.

Single Family Versus Town Home

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The Pros And Cons Of Living In A Townhouse


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    • caseymel profile image

      caseymel 4 years ago from Indiana

      Congratulations! It sounds like a combination of both worlds. We have a few semi-detached homes near us in Northern Virginia. They offer a bit more privacy than a town home.

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      Interesting Hub caseymel. I live in an apartment at present but am shortly moving to what we call a semi-detached home. This means it is joined just to the house next door.