People usually choose to buy a townhouse in Fairfax County as their first home. In the United States, townhouses are defined as single-family dwellings with at least two floors that share a wall with another house. Unlike duplexes or fourplexes, however, each townhouse is individually owned. The primary difference between townhouses and row houses in Fairfax County is in how they’re arranged. Row houses are, as the name suggests, lined up all in a row, while townhouses are often configured differently.
Interesting Facts About Townhouses
- The origins of the word townhouse go back to early England, where the term referred to a dwelling a family (usually the royalty) kept “in town” (meaning London) when their primary residence was in the country. The word stuck, and today, it’s used to describe a wide array of primary residences all over the world—in other words, not just in Fairfax County.
- The Census Bureau doesn’t distinguish between the row houses and townhouses in Fairfax County and classifies them all as attached houses. They show that townhouses and row houses make up about 5.6% of the U.S. housing inventory but were most popular in 1940 when they made up 7.6% of the inventory.
- The difference between townhouses and condos in Fairfax County depends on the form of ownership because some townhouses are sold as condos. If you purchase a townhouse as a condo, you will own just the inside of the building. If you purchase it as a townhouse, then you may own the property outside as well, though it may be subject to the rules of a homeowners association.
- One benefit of owning a townhouse over a condo in Fairfax County is that since you fully own the property, you’re able to make important decisions about upgrades to and the upkeep of your home.
- Townhouses in Fairfax County give you a freer hand without the high costs of maintaining a single-family home. With a single-family home, you’re completely alone, and all maintenance responsibilities rest on your shoulders. The townhouses fill the gap, where you get some cost savings and benefits of being part of the bigger community and having that attached-type of housing, but you’re not limited, as you would be being part of a condo association.