Some pros of living in a rowhouse in the US include its affordability, it is always in style, community living, and its community advantage. The cons for the same include HOA fees, limited design freedom, and pet restrictions.
- Despite being slightly more expensive than apartments in the US, rowhouses are significantly cheaper than independent villas.
- With existing land and building costs, proponents argue that rowhouses provide larger spaces at a cheaper rate than any other type of dwelling unit.
- Investing in such housing is thus regarded as a good investment for individuals or families with a limited budget.
IT IS ALWAYS IN STYLE
- As with any other sector, home design trends are subject to change. With new homes and structures being established every day, an independent villa might begin to look outdated after some years and might need repainting or a complete renovation from time to time.
- However, that is never the case for rowhouses, as the exterior of all houses in the community is more or less identical. In the US, row houses have common regional attributes.
- For example, Baltimore rowhouses are famous for their "white marble steps and 20th century Formstone siding." As such, there is no pressure that one's building might be out of fashion.
- Community living is one of the most prominent features of living in rowhouses.
- Rowhouses provide a sense of community, since most owners are of the same societal standards. They would thus exhibit similar lifestyles, habits, and hobbies.
- For parents, it provides a conducive atmosphere for raising kids, as there are usually many children around for others to play and hangout with.
- As far as the community is concerned, rowhouses provide an alternative to the conventional land-consuming independent villas. As such, the same amount of land can accommodate more homes.
- The provision of municipal services is also more economical due to the compact nature of row housing developments. There is more net usable open space due to the more efficient use of land compared to detached independent villa developments.
- As such, the space for sideyards and other setbacks can be better utilized to provide both individual and community advantage.
HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION (HOA) FEES
- Most community services such as pest control, HVAC inspections, and trash services available in the neighborhood are included in the homeowner association fees.
- Depending on the amenities available in the rowhouse community, homeowner association fees might or might not be expensive. However, such fees are particular to any closed community, gated neighborhood, and are used to maintain common walls, roofs, and shared amenities.
- The fees are also subject to change, mostly increasing, and sometimes showing sharp changes without much to notify the residents.
LIMITED DESIGN FREEDOM
- Buyers that want some creative/expressive freedom might meet with significant limitations when settling in a rowhouse, as the HOA might observe strict restrictions to changes made outside and even inside the home.
- As the rowhouses are part of a larger complex, occupants looking to make renovations and updates have to abide by the rules, which significantly limits their options and choices.
- Depending on the regulations of the development set aside by the HOA, residents might also see restrictions on pet ownership when living in rowhouses.
- They might not be allowed to bring any or all of their pets into the neighborhood, and this rule would most likely apply to visitors as well.
- As such, rowhome owners must review and understand the rules and regulations of the development before moving in.
As part of our findings for this research, we utilized a somewhat ancient article by the American Planning Association. While this report is beyond Wonder's standard two-year timeframe for sources, we used the same as it provides identical data provided in more recent reports, as well as additional useful insights.
We also presented a report of rowhouses from another country to establish the attributes, as we thought it to be the same across the global industry. However, we backed such findings by articles specific to the US.
Lastly, this report does not address the minimal technicalities that differentiate a rowhouse from a townhouse, as they share many similarities and are often mistaken for each other, especially as regards living within such settlements. As such, more readily available insights for townhouses have been included occasionally to support data for rowhouses.