6 Important Questions to Ask Before Buying a Townhouse in Oakville

Are you thinking of buying a townhouse in Oakville? That’s a great idea! This versatile neighbourhood has been ranked as the best place to live in Canada. But, buying a property like a townhouse is a major investment and needs to be taken with care, after considering all important factors.

Many first-time home buyers, young couples and empty nesters prefer moving to a townhouse because it has unique architectural details, spacious yards and what not. However, there are other aspects as well such as security, privacy and maintenance. Being in the real estate market of Oakville for years now, we would suggest that the decision of purchasing a property should not be made in a hurry. That’s why we have come up with this post describing six important questions that you should ask yourself and get answers before buying a townhouse in Oakville.

1) Why buy a townhouse in Oakville?

Oakville real estate market offers a number of property types such as single-family homes, bungalows and condos, then why are you considering only townhomes. If you’ve finalized this property type just because someone told you or you’re getting a good deal on townhouses for sale in Oakville and you don’t have a solid answer to this question, then you should know the features of a townhouse to start with. Here they are.

  • Located in suburban areas
  • Designed to mimic detached or semi-detached homes
  • Architectural details
  • Shared walls with other townhomes
  • Smaller than single-family homes, but larger than condos
  • Multiple floors (two to three stories)
  • Shared common spaces such as pool and driveway

If you wanted the above-mentioned features in your dream home, then you’ve got the answer.

2) How much do you have to pay for common maintenance?

Many homebuyers are unaware of what the maintenance fees charged by townhouse associations include. People living in townhouses share the ownership of communal areas with individuals living in other townhouses; therefore, maintenance fee is collected from all owners for the upkeep of amenities and areas shared. Before you buy a townhouse, it is important to know the cost of maintenance and determine whether it will be in your budget or not apart from your mortgage payment. Generally, the fee includes structural insurance (if needed), landscaping, shovelling, repairs and other maintenance needs. Simply put, it is far lower than the maintenance fee charged by high-rise apartment and condo associations.

3) Are townhomes safe?

Townhome communities are shared by many people and neighbours live close by, thus making this property type safer than single-family homes that are detached from other houses. While theft can happen anywhere and at any time, having neighbours close is surely an advantage as they can keep an eye out for suspicious activities. After all, people who live in the same townhouse community share a common interest in keeping their community safe.

4) Is buying a townhouse a good investment?

As mentioned earlier, buying a property is a big investment, especially if you plan to resell it in the future. Before you make the purchase, it is necessary to consider whether investing in a townhouse will ensure good ROI or not. The best bet is to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of townhouse investment to get the answer.

Advantages

  • They occupy a medium price bracket of the property market, thus making it an affordable choice for entry in the Oakville real estate
  • They don’t need to be maintained by the owner as HOA fee is collected to take care of that
  • Townhouses slightly appreciate in value, thus offering an opportunity to make a profit out of the sale and using it as a down payment to invest in another property

Disadvantages

  • They have lower rental potential compared to detached houses because they offer less privacy and are typically smaller than single-family homes
  • Apart from the regular HOA fees, the association can ask homeowners to pay for emergency repairs and other unexpected expenses
  • As mentioned earlier, townhouses do appreciate but at a slower rate, thus leaving owners with options of either to hold on to the property for long to make a decent profit or sell it without profit.

5) What is the difference between a condo and a townhouse?

Understanding the difference between two types of property is essential to be sure of the house you’re purchasing. One of the closest competitors of a townhouse in Oakville real estate is a condo. Many people think that a condo will be a better alternative to a townhouse, while some are of the opinion that buying a condo is a better investment. Let’s take a look at the key difference between a condo and a townhouse so you get an idea of which one will be suitable for you.

CONDO

TOWNHOUSE

Condo owners only own the interior of the unit. All other areas in the housing such as swimming pool, lawn, gym are owned by Homeowners Association

Townhouse owners own both interior and exterior of the house including roof and lawn, but the communal areas have shared ownership

Units are part of high-rise buildings

They are designed in rows where each house has two or more stories and they share at least one wall with another townhouse

HOA fees are higher are condos because it covers all exterior upkeep including trash removal, shovelling and lawn care

HOA fees are lower than condos because most townhouse owners are responsible for a majority of external upkeep

Smaller than other property types

Larger and more spacious than condos

Condos are more secured than townhouses because they are usually equipped with surveillance cameras and security checks at gates

As compared to condos, townhouses are not considered as a safe option.

6) Can a townhouse be renovated?

Living in a house with the same interior decor and construction for years can become monotonous after some time. In that case, renovation and upgrades become a necessity. But, many home buyers forget to consider the fact whether they can renovate their townhouse or not. After all, you share some areas with your neighbours. Fear not! The answer is simple. You can renovate and make changes to your townhouse if you comply with local rules and building codes. That said, you must take permission from the concerned authorities and follow the homeowner’s association rules. However, these rules are only meant for making exterior changes. Townhome owners are free to renovate the house’s interiors without taking prior approval or informing anyone.

When you buy a townhouse in Oakville, it should be like a dream home and not a nightmare. That’s why it is important to know all aspects and analyze whether it is the right property for you or not. You should be sure of what you’re buying to avoid regrets in the future. Hopefully, this blog post has helped you evaluate your decision by asking yourself the essential questions and getting the answers. Make sure that you’re certain of buying a new townhouse. If you have doubts, feel free to get in touch with a real estate agent in Oakville who has an in-depth understanding of the local area.

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