When it comes time to rent, most folks start by asking themselves, “Am I looking for an apartment or a house?”
The only problem with that question is it’s ignoring one of the best and most cost-effective options available to renters: the townhouse.
Townhouses are split-level dwellings, usually connected directly to similar houses on either side of them. Townhouses originally served as second homes for wealthy people who would come into the city for a few days at a time, but now, they’re emerging as the perfect balance between the affordability of traditional apartment rental and the independence of home ownership.
If you’re currently shopping for apartments in Decatur, Alabama, take a minute to learn more about the incredible benefits of townhouses and consider making your next rental a townhome. These townhouses in Decatur, Alabamahave a lot to offer, whether you’re exploring scaling up or just looking for something a little nicer.
For those who are still on the fence, here are our seven most compelling reasons you should rent a townhouse instead of an apartment:
1. Test Drive Home Ownership
If you’ve been considering buying a house but aren’t sure if you’re ready, renting a townhouse is a great first step to introduce you to both the joys and responsibilities of caring for a larger space. Living with multiple floors and more rooms gives you a better sense of what to expect from home ownership in terms of cleaning, decorating, and utility bills.
Unlike jumping straight into buying, though, renting a townhouse provides you with a safety net. When you lease a townhouse for rent, you won’t have to plan and manage maintenance for the exterior of your home (aside from giving your doorway a bit of personality), which means that you can still save money effectively (maybe even for a down payment) while renting a townhouse.
In many ways, rental townhouses offer an ideal middle ground between traditional apartments and home ownership with a mortgage. Renters get a home that feels spacious and completely theirs without taking on the landscaping, maintenance, and property tax costs of a house and yard all at once. In fact, you might enjoy the perks of townhouse living so much you start looking for a townhouse for sale!
2. Get a Balance of Community and Privacy
One of the things people enjoy most about apartments is the security of sharing space with a group of people who are paying attention to what’s going on in the area where they live. On the other hand, that volume of neighbors can be a lot less fun on laundry day.
When renters transition from apartments into freestanding homes to escape those crowded parking lots and waits on the dryer, however, they often find themselves feeling isolated or struggling to find ways to find common ground with their new neighbors. For those who grew up in an apartment or have never lived outside out a communal setting before as an adult, the physical distance from others can be incredibly difficult.
Townhouses offer renters the opportunity to live in a community-minded environment where nearby neighbors can form close relationships without intruding on each other’s space in any way. That means townhouse renters don’t have to choose between community and privacy.
3. Eliminate Upstairs-Downstairs Drama
If you love dancing, working out, or listening to music, you’ve probably gotten a visit from the tenant below you at least once in your apartment-renting life. At the same time, if you love reading and sleep lightly, you’ve probably been put in the position of needing to say something to the person who lives above or below you at least once.
When you lease a townhouse for rent, you’ll never need to worry about either of those experiences ever again. Townhouse tenants have a neighbor to their right and a neighbor to their left, but there are no units above or below them.
That means that, while some neighborly courtesy is still necessary, townhouse renters can enjoy a much fuller range of activities in their space without any guilt over creating a disturbance for others. No more hitting the ceiling with a broom, no more awkward late-night knocks, and no more dirty looks in the mailroom.
4. Stop Subjecting Yourself to Creepy Shared Spaces
Whether it’s the person who hangs out in the doorway every time it rains, the creep who seems to linger in the hall while you’re opening your apartment door, or the neighbor who always takes your underwear out of the dryer, apartment buildings are full of situations that can make you feel really uncomfortable in a place that’s supposed to be your home.
The hallway, parking lot, laundry room, stairwell, and entryway are a few examples of places in apartment buildings where less-than-desirable interactions can take place. The good news is that you can completely eliminate those awkward interactions from your life by moving into a townhouse.
In your townhouse, the only one brushing up against you on the stairs will be your cat, and the person who leaves the folding table a mess will be you. If there’s someone lingering near the doorway, you can call the police and have them removed. When you live in a townhouse, you’re more secure than you ever were in an apartment building.
5. Benefit from Homeowners’ Association Perks
One of the biggest differences between a condo or townhouse and a regular apartment building is the Homeowners’ Association (HOA). The HOA creates a pool that homeowners pay into for property-related expenses, such as exterior maintenance, trash removal, and landscaping.
When you rent a townhouse, you may or may not be responsible for paying HOA fees, depending on your lease, but you’ll certainly benefit from your townhouse’s membership in the association. HOAs ensure that the structural repairs you need made to your unit happen much faster and with higher-quality work than you got through your apartment’s facilities team.
Living in a community with an HOA also means that your neighbors’ properties will all be maintained just as well as yours is, so you’ll never have to worry about that umowed lawn next door or the haunted shack down the block making your neighborhood look crummy, like you might with a free-standing house.
6. Create More Personalized Spaces
If you’ve been living in apartments for years, you’ve probably gotten pretty good at turning large, boring rectangles into livable spaces. You know how to use couches and tables to break up a huge room or switch up the décor from room to room to stretch the space and make the apartment feel bigger.
When you live in a townhouse, though, the split-level design of the building allows for more rooms and wall space, creating a home that feels more spacious and unique but still cozy. In a townhouse, bedrooms and workspaces can be spread further from dining and entertainment rooms, creating more physical and mental space and providing natural opportunities for themed or personalized rooms that don’t have to match a central living space.
At the same time, townhouses make it easier to separate public and private spaces, so you can have guests over to a formal dinner downstairs even if there’s laundry on the floor in your upstairs bedroom. In this way, townhouse renters get basically all the interior benefits of owning a house without needing to lease, fill, or clean more space than they need.
7. Get More Windows, More Light, and Better Views
Because apartment buildings are designed to pack in as many units as possible, most apartments only have windows on one side. That means that, depending on the time of day, the weather outside, the level of your apartment, and the trees nearby, it could easily be completely dark in your apartment during daylight hours.
When your living space isn’t providing your body with the sunlight it needs, it’s hard to get up in the morning, think clearly, and even feel ready to go to sleep at night. Without adequate windows to take in the world around you, it’s easy to feel trapped, lonely, or depressed in an apartment.
Unlike traditional apartment buildings, townhouses provide each individual renter with more windows and daylight, so there’s no more being late to work because it’s too dark in your first-floor apartment to wake up. Townhouses also have multiple floors of windows, so you can take in a variety of views and perspectives from inside your home.
Whether you’re pondering buying a house, searching for a space that feels like more than a box, or just trying to break the monotony of apartment living, townhouses offer renters in Decatur, Alabama and the surrounding community with a great balance of value and possibilities. In a townhouse, you can spread out, enjoy your privacy, and dance as late as you want, all with the security of knowing you’re part of an active, safe, HOA-supported community.