When thinking about or discussing the New York City residential real estate market, condos and co-ops are what often comes to mind. It is easy to forget that a third type of property exists in the market because condos and co-ops, or apartment-style living, is what many think of when they think of city living. However, the third type of property that exists, townhomes, are quite unique and special.
So what attracts people to townhouse properties in New York City?
Townhouse living offers and elevated sense of privacy for some buyers because the home is entirely yours. People will not see you in the common lobby, elevators, or any shared space that exists in a condo or co-op. Similarly, there are no doormen or concierge at a front desk that see you coming in and out of your home.
Additional privacy comes from the fact that there are no neighbors above or below you to make noise or complain about noise that you may be making. Private outdoor space such as terraces and backyards is solely for the use of the owner, unlike common outdoor space in condos and co-ops which is an amenity for the entire building.
Most people are attracted to townhomes for the simple fact that they are houses in the middle of the city. With that being said, townhomes offer traditional vertical living. While this is not for everyone, some buyers like the feeling of a traditional home. This aspect can change one's mindset because when one enters a townhouse, one feels an escape from the bustle of the city...perhaps forgetting it is situated in one of the most bustling metropolitan areas in the world.
Owning a townhome is different in many facets than owning a condo or a co-op. It is similar to a condo in that the owner has a title to real property, unlike share ownership in a co-op, but it differs in that a townhouse is "free standing" with no common areas shared by other owners. Townhouse owners only pay real estate taxes- there are no monthly common or maintenance charges.
This biggest aspect of townhouse ownership is the freedom that comes along with it. Freedom takes on many forms such as no board approval for moving in, tenants, or renovations, and no financing restrictions that one might see on a co-op property.
It must be noted that the freedom of townhouse ownership also comes with increased responsibility, namely all burdens of upkeep and daily operations fall on the owner. Things like inspections, taking out the garbage, cleaning sidewalks in the winter, and handling all repairs become solely the owner's responsibility. There are no live-in supers or porters like a condo or co-op would have.
Value & Selection
The value of townhomes varies depending on myriad factors, most notably, however, width and location. The standard width of a townhouse in New York City is between 18-20 feet. Anything above 25 feet wide is considered a mansion, and is rare, thus making it much more valuable.
Additional items that can increase a townhouse's value amenities such as elevators and garages. An elevator can reduce the impact of vertical living for those buyers that are accustomed to condo or co-op living. An on-premise garage is highly coveted, allowing the owner to keep their car on the property, for use at their convenience, without additional garage expenses.
The most coveted townhomes are usually found on the Upper East and Upper West Sides as well as the Village. When shopping for townhomes, there are various choices to match different buyer taste profiles. Selection spans the gamut of gut renovation ready to triple-mint renovated homes with all the conveniences for today's modern lifestyle. It is worth noting that some homes are considered historic, and thus certain details such as the facade cannot be altered. If you are buyer looking to make renovations, it is important to obtain this information.
Intrigued by Townhouse Living in New York City?
Submit any questions about townhouses or contact us to schedule your townhouse tour in New York City.