The classification of “townhome” is often confusing to people, since townhomes offer some of the attributes of both a single-family home and a condominium. A townhome is a structure that shares, or is attached by a common wall, either a garage wall or an interior (living room) wall to an adjacent structure.
If the land occupied by the townhome is part and parcel of the deed, then the building is designated as a “townhome.” However, if the land is not the actual property of the homeowner, then the townhome is designated for insurance and tax purposes as a condominium.
Townhomes can be constructed as a single-story, duplex, or triplex. Depending on how the bylaws of the townhouse community are structured, each owner may have an additional shared ownership of the complex, which would include the common areas, parking facilities, swimming pool, recreational facilities, and clubhouse.
A governing Home Owners Association (HOA,) oversees the community’s adherence to Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs.) These policies dictate the legally enforceable operational guidelines that the Home Owners Association must follow and the rules homeowners are obligated to follow, inclusive of the homeowner’s obligatory monthly payment of association fees to cover the costs of landscaping, repairs, maintenance, taxes, etc., of the common areas of the community.
The townhome “lifestyle” appeals to those who enjoy close community living, freedom of the responsibility for maintenance and repair of the exterior portion of their home, easy access to recreational facilities; swimming pool, workout room, clubhouse, tennis courts, etc.
The question of whether or not a townhome is a good investment, has many pros and cons. Certainly, if the purpose of the investment is for rental or resale, the Home Owners Association guidelines assure that the unit’s exterior will be well maintained.
Appreciation is usually not quite on a par with single family residences, and in a down market, townhomes most often depreciate at a faster rate. Certainly, the age of the townhome, how well the interior has been maintained, and if the home has been upgraded, as well as the location, are important factors to consider.
It is equally important to investigate the financial condition of the Homeowners Association. An examination of the operating budget, and copies of past years budgets should be compared. Amounts allocated to the reserve fund, a current financial statement, including a balance sheet, and operating cost statement are necessary to examine as well.
Reviewing the financial statements, insurance declaration and all pertinent documents necessary to analyze the financial health of the HOA is as necessary as evaluating the townhome itself, before deciding if the potential investment is worthy of pursuit.
If you have any questions about Las Vegas Real Estate Investing & Management, feel free to give us a call at 702.376.7379.