Sprawling suburban developments make it common for traditional townhouses to be built in a two story format.
Indistinguishable from attached row houses or apartment buildings, townhouses are often built with a common wall separating the adjoining residences.
Regular houses have basements, but do townhouses have them? Townhouses do not always have basements because they aren’t required by building codes.
However, if you want more room, you can choose a home that does have a basement.
Most often basement space will be allocated to parking, storage or laundry facilities rather than living areas.
Read on for answers to some commonly asked questions about townhouses and basements.
Are townhouses different from condos?
A property‘s surrounding and layout is one of the first things buyers should look for when buying a home.
Of course, there are some differences between townhouses and condos that a potential buyer may not know about.
Townhouses are home units that are attached to one another in a way that resemble more of an apartment building than a typical detached house form.
This kind of housing consists of a row of similar but separate dwelling units that share common walls.
As such, most townhouses have a shared common driveway instead of an individual driveway and a separate entryway for each unit.
Private backyards are tucked away from the street in order to protect the privacy of each unit’s owners.
A community of buildings with individual entries is known as a townhouse complex.
A condominium, or “condo,” refers to a dwelling that is located inside a larger unit or building.
Conversely, while condos (or condominiums) are also interconnected within adjoining buildings, individual owner-occupants possess the interior spaces of their units only.
They belong to a Homeowners’ Association or a Condominium Owners’ Association that owns all the exterior spaces, including the roofs, entries and parking areas.
Advantages and disadvantages of living in a townhouse
As your family and lifestyle grow, the size and price of a single-family home can grow exponentially.
Switching to a townhouse offers a great option for people who would otherwise have to make a lot of sacrifices in order to get into a larger residence.
A townhouse lifestyle can also be a great way to enjoy all the benefits of living in a single-family home without taking out as much of a financial risk.
With that said, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of living in a townhouse before committing to this kind of residence.
- freedom to make decisions regarding the interior and exterior space
- apartments often have a small backyard
- common areas that allow you to meet other people and hang out like pools, parks etc.
- can be more affordable than a single-family home
- some townhouses have basements, usually for the purpose of a garage, storing things or as a bonus space for things like a home theater or a home office
- less privacy than living in a single-family home
- less land, the townhouse is usually surrounded by homes and can’t expand
- fixed floor plans and layouts
- creativity restricted by the exterior and interior design
- less room to do things like hobbies, gardening, decorate the interior
Do townhouses have basements?
A major deterrent in the purchasing of townhouses is the reduced privacy. Some people may feel claustrophobic with the limited space, while others don’t mind.
Townhouses, like detached homes, may or may not have basements.
In some cases, it’s a rare feature but in other cases, it’s a common one.
The latter cases, like traditional two-storey townhomes, may have basements, but in the case of townhomes with increased floors, it’s less likely.
Floorplans that have a third level, be it a loft style, a penthouse style or a full-blown third floor, will most likely not have basements.
Basements, although rare in townhouses, are often included in designs that include less than two levels of living space.
In the end, whether a townhouse has a basement or not isn’t the only thing that should be considered before purchasing one; there are many different factors to take into consideration including size and amenities.
Can you rent a basement in a townhouse?
A livable basement is possible in a townhouse, but only if the space is habitable before the conversion process and if it is fully equipped with the same amenities as other rooms in the home.
A home inspector should be hired to verify this.
Thrifty renters should keep in mind that many basement spaces in townhouses are often smaller and not suitable for living purposes.
You need to go house hunting in the right townhouses and find one that fulfills the following requirements:
- state laws and area building codes
- homeowner’s association rules
- flood zone stipulations
- there are working utility connections
- square footage accommodates comfortable living conditions (~300 square feet) Find Out: How to Measure Office Space Square Footage
- well-insulated and waterproof
- necessary amenities exist and are in working order
- rental rates are within your budget