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.

Properties in Fairfax County

12135 Purple Sage Ct

Open Sunday 5/19 from 1-4 pm in North Reston. Come check out this beautifully updated 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath gem minutes to Reston Town Center shops, dining & Metro. This lovely end unit townhome has great curb appeal! Relax & enjoy the wonderful outdoor space with lush landscaping, flagstone patio & fenced yard. Cooking & entertaining is made easy with the nicely updated & open kitchen featuring stainless steel appliances & granite counters. Nice modern touches throughout including the gorgeous renovated bath with subway tile shower, ceramic tile floors & stylish vanity. The finished walk-out basement is another great gathering space with Rec Room & half bath. This is a nice place to live or easily rent out! [Purple Sage - $375,000]

11127 Lake Chapel Ln

Location Location Location! This open floor plan town house is ready for its new owner who will appreciate the fantastic views this property has to offer! This home fills up with natural light throughout the day so you feel cheery all day long. Direct water access out the back deck. Comes with your OWN deeded boat slip and boat comes with the home. This truly is a lifestyle for the water lover! Feel like you are on vacation year round with what this community has to offer. Spacious home has two fireplaces, 4 decks, updated kitchen with higher end materials and appliances. Hardwood floor on main level and lower level. Two assigned spots and PLENTY of off street parking as well. Walk for miles on the Reston pathways. Walk to shopping center, public transportation, schools and pool! No need to drive much when you live here. Waterfront homes always appreciate the most! Tenant moves out end of May. [Reston - $739,000]

10863 Oak Green Ct

Lovely, 3 bed, 2 and a half bath townhome in the coveted Burke Centre community.New paint, New carpets, Newer HVAC(2017). 2nd/3rd bedrooms are both medium-sized. Recessed lighting in the living room, kitchen, and the ground floor/upstairs hallways.Ceiling fans and lights in 3 bedrooms: master, bedroom 1, bedroom 2.o Lighting installed in closets. Larger deck~ Backs to woods~ Lots of Visitor parkingo Two visitor spots right in front of house. Reserved spots are numbered 13 and 14. Above average visitor parking elsewhere in the cul-de-sac.Walkout basement Basement rectangular-shaped making it all usable.~ Trails and Burke amenities 5 minute walk (community pools, tennis courts, playgrounds, basketball courts). Walk to grocery store, restaurants, and shopping. Walk to bus station with 18P express bus (50 minutes to Pentagon). Minutes away from Burke Centre VRE/Amtrak train station (50 minutes to Union Station). Robinson pyramid. Walk to Fairview Elementary school large playground and fields for sports and recreation).~ Ikea Kitchen Cabinets LG HiMacs kitchen countertopEnergy star appliances Bellawood HDWD flooring. Assigned parking - 2 spaces [Burke Centre - $429,900]

7468 Carriage Hills Dr

Luxury End Unit, All Brick, 4 Level Townhome walking distance to Metro Silver Line Station. shopping & Restaurants. Light filled! Gourmet Kitchen open to large family room & Deck, overlooking trees. Adjacent to huge, well maintained common space. Volume Ceiling. Lower level walkout to fenced patio. [Hunting Ridge - $920,000]

6555 Tartan Vista Dr

Well Maintained, 3 Level Townhouse w/ 1 Car Garage in The Pinecrest Community * Quiet Cul de Sac Location * 3 Bedrooms, 2 Full & 2 Half Baths * Kitchen w/ Granite, Extra Island with Cabinets, Pantry & Gas Range * Lovely Living & Dining Room Combo With Wood Burning Fireplace (fireplace behind TV in pictures) * Sliding Glass Door off Dining Room Leads Out to Large Deck * Huge Master Bedroom w/ Sitting Room, Walk In Closet, Ceiling Fan and Lux Master Bath w/ Soak Tub and Separate Shower * Laundry on Bedroom Level * Lower Level has Cozy Family Room w/ Built in Bookcases, Half Bath and Tons of Extra Storage in Utility Closet * Fully Fenced Back Yard * Community Amenities Offer Tennis, Walking Trails and 2 Ponds w/ Gazebos* Subdivision is Surrounded by Pinecrest Golf Course * Close to Restaurants, Shopping and Grocery Stores * Great Commuter Location - Easy Access to 495 and 395 * Metro Bus Pick Up w/ Pentagon Express Service Just Around the Corner on Little River Turnpike * Come See this Beautiful Townhouse!! OPEN SUNDAY, MAY 19TH FROM 1 TO 4 PM [Pinecrest the - $479,500]

7354 Bloomington Ct

Fantastic location and condition. Big end-unit townhouse with a bump-out. Hardwood floors throughout and an upgraded kitchen with new countertops and stainless steel appliances. Spacious open-floorplan. New HVAC. Easy access to metro and commuting routes. [Townes of Manchester Wds - $570,000]

10409 Graystone Ct

Everything from the roof down has been redone! Truly turn key condition. New replacement windows throughout and newer HVAC and hot water heater! . The fantastic, renovated kitchen offers stainless steel appliances, pantry and granite countertops. Gorgeous hardwood flooring on the main level. The master suite boast room for a make-vanity, a walk-in closet and access to a renovated bath. The spacious lower level makes an ideal family/television room with an abundance of storage in the laundry room. The lovely garden in back has a brand new fence and slate patio, ideal for summer barbeques!! Tucked away amongst mature trees but easy access to metro and major commuting routes! [Flint Hill Manor - $465,000]

14007 Sawteeth Way

Stunning end unit brick front in a well-established community. Perfect location, close to everything with lots of upgrades, 3 BR,3.5 Bath, three levels, walkout basement, two car garage in a sought after OLd Centreville Townes. Large deck with steps going to BRICK PAVED fenced backyard for summer entertainments and BAR-B-QUES !! Large Master suite with walk-in closet, separate standing shower and soaking tub, large kitchen, center island granite countertops.Separate breakfast area. Fully finished walkout Basement with full bath and Gas Fireplace. and the laundry room. Plenty of visitors parking spaces very near to the front of the property. COME AND SEE, YOU WILL DEFINITELY NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!! IS COMPETITIVELY PRICED. Sellers prefer Cardinal Title as a settlement agent. WASHER/DRYER and CURTAINS DO NOT CONVEY. Sellers to rent back. MUST CALL, SHOW CONTACT (703)989-2807, ONE HOUR NOTICE...... CONTRACT RATIFIED..... TAKING BACK UP OFFERS [Old Centreville Townes - $520,000]

6171 Derring St

Spacious brick front end unit townhome with approximately 2,342 square feet of finished living space in the heart of Centreville. Stunning hard wood floors on the main level. Bright and beautiful floor plan with sunken family room with full length arched windows. Spacious kitchen with back splash and open dining area. Master bedroom with vaulted ceiling and an ensuite master bath with double vanity, soak in tub and a separate shower. Enjoy the weather on the deck or walkup the stairs from basement in to the backyard. Basement features recreation area and a full bath. Don't let this home slip away! [Victorias Landing - $549,900]

2853 Lester Lee Ct

Wonderful value inside the beltway! Stunning 2br/1.5 bath townhouse in convenient location near Mosaic District, Dunn Loring Metro and 495/66 commuter routes* Nice fenced back yard * 2 assigned parking spaces* New HVAC ('18), water heater ('18), washer ('18), dishwasher ('17)* Beautiful hardwood floors * A real beauty!~ (Offers if any by noon on Monday May 20) [Lee Landing Park - $335,000]

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Maryam N. is a Senior Writer at Nesbitt Realty. She is an expert on Fairfax County. Maryam has also worked previously as a geologist. She is a foodie and enjoys cooking and exploring new restaurants.