Buying

Thinking of Buying a Townhouse? Read the Pros and Cons first!

Story Highlights
  • 1) Pros of buying a townhouse
  • 2) Cons of buying a townhouse

You might have been wondering whether buying a townhouse is the best option for you. It certainly comes with a lot of pros but do they outweigh the cons?

Townhouses are vastly different to freestanding homes. They offer a sense of community and added safety, which is a feature many South African homeowners look for.

On the other hand, it also comes with additional monthly levies and rules set out by the body corporate that you have to follow. Before buying a townhouse, have a look at the pros and cons below. 

1) Pros of buying a townhouse

Buying a townhouse is affordable

Townhouses are usually more affordable than freestanding homes. The reason for this is that townhouses are smaller and they take up less space. Many townhouses are double-storied with smaller yards than homes on freestanding lots and they share boundary walls with neighbours.

Another reason why townhouses are more affordable in the long term is that they require less maintenance and upkeep. Depending on the body corporate, your levies might contribute to general maintenance and repairs when it comes to the structure of the townhouse. 

Townhouses might have access to exclusive amenities

Many townhouses are built in estates that are part of a bigger development. This means that there are exclusive amenities within the estate that you can use. Some estates have clubhouses, several pools, and restaurants available to their residents. There are also large spaces available on the estate making it great for enjoying the outdoors, having picnics with the family, and going for hikes.

These types of developments are often called lifestyle estates because they offer an unmatched investment opportunity to homeowners. Examples of popular lifestyle estates in South Africa include Zimbali Coastal Estate on the north coast of KZN, Val de Vie Winelands Lifestyle Estate in the Western Cape, and Silver Lakes Golf Estate in Pretoria, Gauteng.

Buying a townhouse means better security

The number one reason why people prefer townhouses over freestanding homes is because of the security. Not only do you live within close proximity to your neighbour, but townhouses are built on estates that have several security features. Even the smallest complex has a secure fence around the perimeter and an electric gate where you need a code or reference to enter.

It is also easier to leave your townhouse for a few nights when you go on holiday. The lock-up-and-go advantage means that your home will be safe and sound when you return. 


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2) Cons of buying a townhouse

You have less privacy

Even though your neighbour might keep an eye on your home whilst you are away on holiday, they might also keep an eye when you are at home, too!

Townhouses are built within close proximity of each other which means that there is less privacy. Shared walls often mean that you will hear loud conversations, power tools, or any other noise emanating from your neighbour’s home.

You might also bump into them more often than not – and there is nothing worse than a nosy neighbour!

Buying a townhouse equals body corporate fees and rules

The estates on which townhouses are built are managed by a body corporate. This is a group of people who are in charge of the maintenance and running of the property as a whole. Each townhouse owner pays levies to the body corporate at the end of each month and the group uses it to improve or maintain the estate. If the body corporate is in charge of the maintenance of each townhouse, these fees can be quite steep.

Along with these levies come a set of rules drawn up by the body corporate. Some of them are set up to ensure harmony within the estate. These rules can include noise curfews, parking instructions, or redecorating limitations.

Reduced space

As already stated, a townhouse is built on a smaller piece of land than a freestanding home. This means that your yard is smaller (if you are lucky enough to have one) as well as the rooms inside your home. Storage is often the biggest challenge when buying a townhouse. You might end up with a townhouse that only has one garage and a small storage unit on the property.

Another potential problem is the fact that most townhouses have stairs. This might be difficult to navigate for older people or people with mobility issues. 

Final thoughts

There are several factors to take into account before deciding on buying a townhouse. Every homeowner has different needs so take extra time to weigh up your options and choose the home that is best for you. 

Further related resources to buying townhouses in South Africa:


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