What is a Townhome or Townhouse?
Townhouses are defined as attached homes with one or more levels of living space with exterior door that is separate (no interior building hallway). Resembling row of homes joined by side walls, townhomes can be any kind of attached living that is not a condominium. Townhomes usually offer separate outdoor areas for relaxing or gardening.
Shared common grounds and amenities between several owners make the best use of space and affordability. Townhouse ownership can be freehold strata, leasehold, pre-paid leasehold, co-operative or owned by one identity. Most common ownership in Metro Vancouver is freehold strata where you buy your strata unit plus a percentage of ownership in all common assets.
Buying a townhome requires due diligence. Ensure review of all strata documents prior to an offer. Each strata in BC is registered and has a unique strata number such as VAS999. Your strata lot is the townhome itself and should clearly state the area or size. The Strata Plan will identify common areas, limited common areas, storage, parking and the grounds. If a new townhome, will have insurance protection from a 2-5-10 New Home Warranty. An older townhome should have a depreciation report outlining age and replacement costs of capital assets. Financial include a Form B, financial statements and current budget. Lastly, read the strata minutes for strata council meetings, annual general meetings plus any special meetings for a minimum of 2 years together with the above documents will provide a clear picture of the physical of the building. Ensure your home inspector receives a copy of the depreciation report plus alert them to any concerns uncovered in the minutes. Condominium Homeowners Assoc. is a great resource if you have questions or wish more detailed information.
Townhomes tend make use of space by stacking multi-levels. Complexes often have unique names such as “Yorkwood Park” or “Craftsman Estates”. Due to high price tage of single family homes, many buyers seek either townhomes or ½ duplexes as an alternative.
Designed for young families, townhomes may offer the following features:
- Parking – garage, covered, open, visitors
- Playground / Recreation Facilities – pools, tennis courts, saunas, workshops, bike rooms
- Insuite Laundry
- Storage in unit
- Greenspace / Landscaping
- Outdoor lighting
- Mailroom / Noticeboards
- Meeting rooms / Social rooms