Chicago Townhomes: What To Know
If you’re in the market to buy a townhouse in Chicago, you’re in good company. A townhouse offers the convenience of a lower-maintenance lifestyle, but also more space than a condo. It can also be a good investment in a competitive housing market.
First, though, you’ll want to consider a few key things when it comes to buying a townhouse, plus know some of the differences between townhouses, condos, and single-family homes.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Townhouse
Before you buy, you’ll want to think about how the property fits into your lifestyle. Parking is often a consideration, so you’ll want to know if parking comes with the townhouse or if you’ll have to pay an additional cost. You’ll also want to know if it means parking in an attached garage, a nearby garage, assigned surface parking, or street parking.
If you’re planning on making any changes to your townhouse, you’ll also want to know what’s allowed before you buy. Oftentimes, you’re not allowed to change a townhouse’s exterior. If the property isn’t covered by an HOA, you may have to come to an agreement with neighbors on either side of you. If the property is covered by an HOA, you’ll need to account for monthly dues on top of the cost of the townhouse.
Condos vs. Townhouses
Condos and townhomes share some of the same advantages, but they’re also different. Living in a townhouse has a bit more privacy than living in a condo building. Unlike a condo, you won’t have anyone living above or below you with a townhouse because it has at least two or even multiple levels of living space. While both condos and townhouses are often managed by an HOA, oftentimes townhouse HOA fees are less expensive than condo fees.
The financing is also different. With a condo, you don’t own the land your home sits on, just part of the property’s interior space. With a townhome, you’ll have to have additional insurance. A condo building in Chicago may also come with more amenities than a townhouse, but, again, you will probably benefit from lower HOA fees.
Townhouses vs. Single-Family Homes
Usually, a townhouse is more affordable than a single-family home. You may also find a townhouse in the Chicago area that’s newer construction, which means fewer updates in the future. You will, perhaps, be bound by more restrictions, as some townhouses are required to look alike on the outside, whereas you may have more flexibility with buying a single-family home in a neighborhood that has a bit more diversity in its home styles.
If you need a single-level home, a townhouse isn’t for you. A townhouse comes with at least two levels, and sometimes multiple levels of living space, which does create more privacy than a condo, but not so much, perhaps, as a single-family home. While you may have a patio, balcony or even a small yard, you probably won’t get the same amount of outside space, but that also means not doing much yardwork. Of course, another big advantage is likely is its location. Many times, townhouses tend to be found within walking distance of area parks, restaurants, and neighborhood conveniences.
Chicago Townhouse Market
Whether it's more living space, more privacy, or maybe even a combination of both, townhomes for sale in Chicago seem to offer that perfect compromise between a convenient, maintenance-free condo and a spacious single-family home that offers more than enough room to grow into.
Aside from just a couple spots around downtown (The Loop, primarily), townhome properties can be found just about anywhere in Chicago. From the South Loop around the Dearborn Park area to the tree-lined streets that help define the Gold Coast, if it's a townhome around the downtown Chicago area you want, there's more than enough options available to find exactly what it is you're looking for. And of course if you're looking outside of downtown Chicago, the city's north and west side neighborhoods also have an abundance of townhouse options, giving buyers a whole lot to consider during there quest to find the perfect new place to call home.