While many New York City residents prefer condominiums and co-ops for ease of living purposes, there is still a certain romance to tree-lined streets full of townhouses. For those areas of the city that have not been totally consumed by new high-rise developments, townhouses provide a unique opportunity for certain homebuyers.
In your search for a home in NYC, you may want to keep these features that homes offer in mind when deciding what is right for you:
1. Privacy: For a single-family home, there is no lobby, common use elevator or hallway. Behind the walls, it will be you and your family. You won't have to worry about thin walls and that neighbor who just won't turn his music down.
2. Outside space: Most townhouses feature backyards, decks or terraces. You may even be able to install a rooftop deck. While the parks here in NYC have many advantages, it is also nice to have your own outdoor space.
3. An easier transaction: Purchasing a condo or co-op will mean interviews with building associations, preparing extensive applications, and understanding their fees and rules. Purchasing a home from a seller is a much-more straightforward process.
4. A mix of modern features and original details: Many townhouses are significantly older than condo and co-op buildings. As such, they may feature many original details (think elaborate moldings, ceilings, fireplaces, etc.) while still giving you the opportunity to "modernize" your home as you see fit.
5. The opportunity for rental income: Many people choose to convert multi-story townhouses into separate units so they can rent out an apartment. This presents an opportunity for mortgage relief or just saving money for a rainy day.
Of course, there are other factors that you will need to think about when purchasing a house. If you want to rent out a level or room, what will your costs be? Do you want to mess with updating a certificate of occupancy? Additionally, an inspection will be a necessity before you purchase the home. The costs of maintenance at the beginning and throughout the years will be yours to bear alone.
Buying a house in New York will likely be the most expensive transaction of your life, so it is not a decision to make lightly. Speaking with an experienced real estate attorney about what whether a single-family home, condo or co-op is right for you is advisable.