Daybreak offers a beautiful mix of neighborhoods, homes, and people. With so many options to choose from, you might wonder what type of home or floor plan is best for you: a single-family home or a townhome.
We’ve helped buyers find “the one” almost 10,000 times since Daybreak opened nearly 20 years ago, so we know all about the benefits and drawbacks of every type of home for a wide array of buyers.
Read on to learn about the differences between single-family homes and townhomes, and decide which is right for your lifestyle.
What Is a Single-Family Home?
Potential buyers often ask us what the difference is between houses categorized as single-family and other residences.
The quick answer is their structure and land. Single-family homes are freestanding (detached) structures that don’t share yards, walls, roofs, or entrances with other residences. Nor do they share utilities or ownership.
The Benefits of Living in a Single-Family Home
Singing at the top of your lungs. Banging on your drumset. Quiet meditation time. In a single-family home, you don’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbors—or about them distracting you.
You have the privacy of your own walls and personal space to live on your terms. And without a shared yard, you always have room to run, play with your pets, or host gatherings. Or spend your days tending to plants and flowers that you picked out.
Single-family homes give you autonomy over your space and how you use it. You may want to remodel your kitchen. You can!
Your community might have a homeowner association (HOA) for access to common amenities like:
- Community center,
- Watercraft rentals
- Lake, trail, and park usage
That being said, the association assessment will be less than that for a townhome, and their stewardship typically doesn’t have sway over single-family home interiors.
Plus, single-family homes are often larger than townhomes, giving you more space to entertain, work from home, and raise a family (or a family of pets!). You’ll also have your own storage space without sharing it with others.
Single-Family Home Drawbacks
While single-family homes give you more control, privacy, and independence, they require you to take charge of maintenance decisions and costs
A townhome has an HOA or additional service area that you and your neighbors pay for yard and plant maintenance, exterior washing and painting, or pool upkeep. And owning a single-family home often requires managing and paying for those expenses independently.
Depending on the area, single-family homes might also be farther away from amenities and services. Or, if you’re living outside of a master-planned community, you might not have access to pools, clubhouses, social events, or other amenities that often come with townhome living.
However, if you live in a community like Daybreak, you’ll have that and more, including a 67-acre freshwater lake, a beach club, miles of trails, three dozen parks, a bike park, dining options, a public library, and more.
So, What Is a Townhome?
Unlike single-family homes, townhomes are attached to other residences, sharing walls, roofs, and often, yards.
They usually have two or more floors, without other residences above or below them, and are individually owned. Most have amenities like pools, gyms, and clubhouses. And they often have much more if they’re in a community like Daybreak.
The Benefits of Living in a Townhome
Convenient. Affordable. Simple. Townhomes are perfect for those seeking a low-maintenance lifestyle and lock-and-leave freedom.
Most townhomes are part of an HOA. Owners pay dues or assessments to the association, which then takes care of utilities like water and trash collection and maintenance and upkeep for the structure, exterior, and amenities like pools, gyms, courtyards, and other facilities. Owners know how much to budget for HOA fees and don’t have to spend time finding and managing maintenance providers.
If you live in a Daybreak townhome, you can access even more amenities, including community gardening, a beautiful lake, delicious dining options, quick access to the TRAX light rail, and everything in between.
Townhomes can be the same living square footage as detached single-family homes but are often smaller, offering owners lower mortgage payments with shorter terms and substantial savings on expenses, such as gas, water, electricity, lawn maintenance, and home repairs.
Due to their more compact profiles, townhomes often line streets closer to urban areas and amenities, making them more conveniently located for shopping, dining, and entertainment, and cutting owners’ commute times.
Sharing walls with other residents means you’re close to your neighbors and can forge meaningful connections with them for a greater sense of community. You can also keep an eye out for each other and get to know one another better than you might if you just share a property line or opposite sides of the same fence.
Depending on your lifestyle, many of the same benefits of townhome living can also be drawbacks. Because you share so much with your neighbors—walls, exterior areas, and amenities—you have less privacy and are more prone to noise disturbances.
Townhome square footage is typically spread across multiple floors, so if you have mobility issues or if you love entertaining, living in a townhome could be more challenging for you.
You also likely won’t have as much private outdoor space adjacent to your home as you would if you lived in a detached home.
And while townhome HOAs handle the maintenance and upkeep of properties, they also have more rules and regulations that can extend to interiors. Because any interior modifications you make can affect the building, there’s typically more red tape associated with remodeling or other changes.
Keep in mind that lenders consider HOA fees when you’re qualifying for a mortgage, and townhome fees may be higher than single-family homes because they can have a master association fee and a sub-association fee or benefitted assessment. Single-family homeowners only pay the master association fee but are on the hook for paying ongoing expenses like yard maintenance out of pocket.
Should You Buy a Single-Family Home or a Townhome?
The decision to purchase a single-family home or a townhome can often come down to lifestyle preferences, cost, community, and long-term plans. Consider the following questions:
Do you plan to stay in this home for an extended time? If not, will you retain the residence and rent it out?
If you’re not planning to stay in your home or rent it out, a townhome can be a slightly riskier option than a single-family home that’s less susceptible to adverse market changes. On average, single-family homes appreciate faster than detached single-family homes. However, the rate of appreciation and value depend on the area’s desirability and available amenities.
Do you want control over your home’s floor plan?
If you love a townhome’s floor plan and don’t foresee making changes over time, it could be a fantastic option for you. However, a single-family home may be better if you like to remodel and rework living spaces.
How much do you enjoy managing house improvement projects and maintaining your yard?
One key advantage of owning a townhome is having fewer maintenance responsibilities and expenses (beyond your HOA dues). Less yard to maintain and an HOA that takes care of upkeep can be a huge time and money saver. On the flip side, if you prefer to take care of your property on your terms, you may want to consider a single-family home.
Do you like having neighbors close by?
Not a fan of close neighbors? A townhome isn’t for you. But if you enjoy being near others and building community with your neighbors, you might just love townhome living.
Similarly, how susceptible are you to being distracted or upset by nearby noises?
Not all townhomes are loud, and not all single-family homes are quiet. But the potential for more noise comes when you share a wall with your neighbors. If that’s something you don’t think you can live with, a single-family home is your best bet. If it doesn’t bother you, a townhome may be perfect for you.
Is it more important for you to have amenities close by, or are you okay biking or driving to them?
Luckily, amenities are right around the corner in Daybreak, no matter where you live. But in other communities—especially those that aren’t master planned—townhomes may be closer to amenities. And you don’t have to maintain a pool or expensive gym equipment in your home; you can take advantage of those managed by your townhome’s HOA.
It’s Your Choice
Both single-family homes and townhomes are solid long-term investments and places you can grow, entertain friends and family, and be part of a community. Which type of residence you choose is a matter of preference, and only you can decide which is right for you. Both townhomes and single-family homes have the same financing options, insurance, and ownership rights. And both may have HOAs. Make sure to review their fees, rules, and regulations and evaluate them just as you do the home’s purchase price.
If you’re interested in buying in Daybreak, we offer townhomes, single-family homes, and more in several styles and areas. Explore the options, and please feel free to swing by and visit our community. We’d be happy to show you homes that fit your unique needs and lifestyle.