What Should You Look For In A Townhouse Or Single Family In NYC?
Other important things to look for are:
Buying A Townhouse vs. Buying A Condo/Co-op
Buying a townhouse is very different from buying a condo or co-op. And it’s not just about the buying process but about owning the property. Some advantages are:
- Townhouses offer more privacy and control over the premises.
- The property taxes are significantly lower than condos since most townhouses are classified as one to three-family homes and are taxed as such, unlike condos that are taxed as rental properties.
- You don’t have to deal with the board at the time of buying or whenever you need to renovate or make changes to your property.
- Even if you don’t get your own backyard or outdoor space with a townhouse or single-family, you may take advantage of your roof (like putting up a roof deck).
- You can Airbnb part of your home, something you can’t do with apartments due to short-term rental laws.
- There are no maintenance fees or common charges. Even though you have to pay for your property’s maintenance, you save a lot by not paying for your share of a large building’s upkeep and amenities.
Some advantages are:
- The inventory is much smaller. There are fewer townhouses and SFH compared to apartments.
- The prices are much higher on average.
- Townhouses and SFH come with fewer amenities, and you, the buyer, will be responsible for the upkeep of the property. However, it can be shared if the neighborhood (or part of it) collectively hires a super/property manager.
- The due diligence (including title search) for townhouses and single-family homes can be more demanding than it is for apartments.
- Maintaining the house might cost you more as the whole property is your responsibility. You will also be responsible for paying your water bill and tax bill, something that’s usually rolled in the co-op maintenance fees.
Importance Of Inspection When Buying A Townhouse or Single-Family
Tips When Buying A Townhouse Or Single-Family in NYC
- Work with professionals (real estate agents, attorneys, inspectors, etc.) that specialize in townhouses and single-family homes.
- Make sure to get the right insurance coverage. It may cost you more, but it would be smart to have flood coverage in an area that’s prone to flash floods or provisions that the insurance will not just pay you for repairs but restoration to the old form (which might be costlier) in case of damage.
- Find out if there is a homeowner’s association or any communal charges in the neighborhood and what they are.
- If you are buying a multi-unit townhouse and plan to rent it out (fully or partially), make sure to consult an accountant/tax expert and identify all the tax deductions you can get. You should also learn about the tenant protection laws before leasing your townhouse units.
- As a homeowner, you will be responsible for keeping the sidewalk “abutting” your property (attached to your property) in a reasonably safe condition. You may be liable for any damages or injuries caused by an unsafe sidewalk that you are responsible for.
- Townhouses with rent-controlled units might be more affordable than the usual stock, but there are also many more complexities involving them.