Townhouses are similar to condominiums in the sense that they're connected buildings owned by the people who live there. But a townhouse is also quite different because of its structural style and the fact that people also own the land on which the townhouse is situated. If you currently live in a townhouse or you're thinking of buying one, here are some helpful tips to make sure you have a positive experience.

Outdoor Space

Since townhouses are connected to one another, they're typically built on much smaller lots, minimizing your access to outdoor space. Look for townhouses that have back patios or a front porch so you'll be able to enjoy spending time outside. Some communities offer their residents a small parcel of land so you will at least have some grass to enjoy. If outdoor space is important to you, choose a townhouse that provides at least a small area where you can be outdoors either in the front or back of the home. Other neighborhoods where townhouses are found may provide what's known as a common space. This space is usually either a playground, grassy area, or walking trails so people can still enjoy the great outdoors.

Ask About The HOA

Most townhouse communities include the use of a Homeowner's Association. These associations are put into place to ensure that all residents are following uniform rules regarding property maintenance and appearance. Before you move in, find out what your monthly HOA fees cover. Most include landscaping, trash removal, and street maintenance. This means you'll no longer need to worry about mowing the lawn or calling the city to fix an annoying pothole. Make sure you read all of the rules and requirements of your particular HOA. Some associations prevent residents from making structural changes or doing things like changing the exterior color of the townhome in order to ensure uniformity and keep property values level and fair. 

Think About Logistics

When it comes to townhouse living, you're basically attached to other units and sharing walls. Thankfully, you won't have to deal with neighbors above or below you, but there will be people living directly next to you. If you're concerned about noise or feeling cramped, choose an end unit so you only have a neighbor to one side. Parking is another thing to take into consideration. You might get lucky and score a townhouse with an attached garage, but some neighborhoods might only provide outdoor parking spaces and typically limit them to two spaces per unit. Make a list of the pros and cons of living in a townhouse so you can decide if it's the right choice for your needs.

For more information, talk with real estate agents, such as those at Stephen McDonald CIR Realty, about townhouses for sale.