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Thoughts on townhomes?

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  • Thoughts on townhomes?

    Just out of curiosity, how does everyone view townhomes? Do their values rise slower compared to traditional free-standing homes?

    Seems like good-value if you are willing to trade off size/yard for price. Especially for docs who want easy maintenance or those with small families (starter home sort of thing). HOA fees are a definite con.

  • #2
    HOA. Hard stop no.

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    • #3
      My wife and I live in a condo now. We like the idea of a townhome in theory because we like low maintenance stuff. I do not view our primary home through the lens of being an investment. I believe in general they don’t appreciate as much as SFH. I am in Maryland where townhomes are expensive in good areas $500-600k. It is hard to pull the trigger on that for “just a townhome” when we can afford a SFH for the additional $100-200k.

      I too am a millennial. I am not really into lawncare and all that. I am very hardworking in my career but pretty lazy at home. My wife and I (no kids yet) are townhome type of people. It all depends on your values. What do you value most in your primary residence?

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      • #4
        I love nice finishes, modern design, open concept, spacious and functional kitchen, mostly indoor living creature comfort types of things. Wife and I are homebodies. We enjoy dinner guests but not huge into entertaining.

        In terms of outdoor space, just enough room for a grill and perhaps a small table to eat outside every now and then. Thinking about a dog, which could definitely stand to benefit from a yard, but we probably shouldn’t let the tail wag the home purchase though you know.

        Currently renting in an apartment and doing just fine.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Peds View Post
          HOA. Hard stop no.
          Exactly.

          Some neighbors can be crazy. Being in a townhome just puts the potential craziness closer to where you live and gives them a voice in one of the biggest financial assets/liabilities you’ll own. No thanks

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          • #6
            I think this is very individual.

            The townhome has the exterior maintenance taken care of. Some find that quite valuable. For my home, I have a lawn service, a garden guy for planting whenever needed, and that works quite well for us.

            The townhome has closer neighbors, which can work out fine or drive you crazy, depending. Sometimes the common walls are not 100% sound proof, but if the construction quality is good, they are pretty much fully sound proof.

            We have a house on what is considered a large property for our area, despite being right outside a very large city, and we love that. Tonight I was sitting in my private courtyard garden having dinner, surrounded by all the luscious flowering specimens that are my better half's pride and joy. And then we had desert up on our sky deck, overlooking the water. The peace and quiet is very nice. We are happy here and the extra maintenance for a house is not a bother to us, the privacy and the space are great. I an pretty much pick up the phone and have a service person come take care of anything in short order. It is just a phone call, but there is a cost. In a townhome, typically you pay a monthly fee, usually not cheap either, but that takes care of everything until a big assessment comes up for new roofs, or road repaving, or major pool repairs.

            For our daughter, a millennial, a large house would be a huge bother. She lives in an apartment in the middle of the city. Recently she said a city brownstone with a 20 foot back yard would be her ideal living situation, but they would still have to maintain both the interior and the exterior of a brownstone.

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            • #7
              I've got to have a yard and I can't share walls/ceilings/floors with neighbors.

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              • #8
                The HOA thing is obviously a deal breaker for many. Also if you like to be very distant from your neighbors def wouldn’t do townhome.

                It seems like the things you value are possible in a townhome or SFH.

                I am pro townhome but that is largely driven by my laziness with the prospect of yard work and upkeep (whether physically doing these things or paying others to do these things). Conversely, I think if the area we wanted to live in had reasonably priced 2500sqft homes with small/medium sized yard I’d chose that 100% over a townhome. My views are influenced by the fact SFH in the area we like are usually >3500sqft and with yards that are not flat. Prices generally >$700k.

                What is the market like in the area you are considering purchasing?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post
                  We have a house on what is considered a large property for our area, despite being right outside a very large city, and we love that. Tonight I was sitting in my private courtyard garden having dinner, surrounded by all the luscious flowering specimens that are my better half's pride and joy. And then we had desert up on our sky deck, overlooking the water. The peace and quiet is very nice.
                  Sounds like a dream.

                  We are still relatively young. I am a MS4 thinking about buying during residency, 5-6 year surgical subspecialty starting next year. Would be our first home and definitely planning to start smaller as we have no children. I think the time gained from low maintenance would be invaluable during residency.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MillennialDoc View Post

                    Sounds like a dream.

                    We are still relatively young. I am a MS4 thinking about buying during residency, 5-6 year surgical subspecialty starting next year. Would be our first home and definitely planning to start smaller as we have no children. I think the time gained from low maintenance would be invaluable during residency.
                    As you are going to be extremely busy during residency, prioritizing easy living and convenience can be very helpful during the more challenging times that are inevitable. If you can find a nice rental where you would be happy, I would more likely go with that. And a short commute is highly valuable as a busy surgical resident as well. With a rental, when there is a maintenance issue, you call the landlord and they have to take care of it.

                    If you will be in a low cost of living area, then buying might work out ok, but the extra maintenance and responsibility of ownership is a big negative as a resident. And financially it can work out fine or terrible. My nephew is completing his residency in Memphis, and they bought a nice home right out of med school for a modest price. He is graduating this year and they decided to stay, so ownership is working out fine for them, but that is not anywhere near a guaranteed outcome. Renting is way less risky if you can find a good place.

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                    • #11
                      Our first home was a townhouse. No HOA. We had one child while living there, had great neighbors and we loved it.

                      That said, do you have student loans? If yes, dont buy anything until you're an attending and the loans are paid off.

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                      • #12
                        No student loans, military HPSP.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MillennialDoc View Post

                          I think the time gained from low maintenance would be invaluable during residency.
                          You're on your way to making a case for renting although your time frame is typically right around the classic 'break even' point.

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                          • #14
                            I have shared common wall while living in apartments. I would not like that with a townhome if I had a choice of owning a single family home

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                            • #15
                              Apartments/townhouses all the way through second year attending for me. (Not including that locums period of hotels/tents/couches.) Same for friends and romances. Seemed to be just fine--I couldn'timagine the bother of a house. Now I have a house smack in the middle of one acre and I wish the lot were 50× bigger.

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