Differences Between Townhouses and Single-Family Homes

One of the most complicated decisions faced by many new homebuyers is whether to buy a townhouse or a single family home.

Arbor II at Plantation Bay in Ormond Beach, FL
Arbor II at Plantation Bay in Ormond Beach, FL

Both options come with a wide range of possibilities, and those possibilities get even deeper when you are building from scratch. Townhouses and smaller single-family homes can both be in the same range in terms of square footage, location, and sometimes even in price.

So how do you know which one is best for you?

Let’s take a look at some of the standard differences you will find between townhouses and single-family homes so that you can better determine which option is best for your family.


The first issue that you will want to address is the differences in space between townhouses and single-family homes. Townhouses are physically attached to other townhouses, which means you are going to be sharing walls with your neighbors. They also offer far smaller lot sizes than traditional single-family homes.

If you are the type of family that is looking for privacy and enough land to plant a garden or build a shed, then a single-family home is a better bet. However, if you are more interested in the social benefits of having lots of neighbors close by and the physical benefits of not having to bother with yard work, then a townhouse is perfect for you.


Because townhouses are closer together, they tend to expand vertically where a single-family home might expand horizontally. It is not uncommon for a townhouse to have three different levels of living space, which might create a problem for older residents or young children. However, townhouses are also known for getting the very most efficient use out of small spaces.


One of the biggest reasons that many people choose to opt for a townhouse over a single-family home is that townhouses require far less maintenance than a comparable single-family home does.

You won’t have to cut the grass, trim the shrubs, or clean out the gutters in your new townhouse, but there are also homeowner’s association fees that are associated with those costs.

Many of the new single-family homes available in ICI Homes communities also offer these maintenance free options, so you will definitely want to investigate this topic further in the community you are considering.


Another huge difference between townhouses and single-family homes can be the cost of purchasing the home. Townhouses are generally priced below the cost of single-family homes. This means that you can either get into a townhouse for less money than it would take to get into a single-family home, or that you can get more amenities and add-ons with a new townhouse than you could with a similarly priced new single-family home.

When trying to decide between a townhouse and a single-family home, you want to decide how important space, layout, maintenance, and cost are to your family.

If you are adamant that you want some distance from your neighbors and don’t mind doing your own yard work, then a single-family home is probably best for you.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a more social environment where you can get more bang for your buck, a townhouse might be a better option. It all boils down to which issues are most important to your family.