addy Answers: What is a Townhome?

Row of attached houses with a magnifying glass and question marks nearby

Townhomes are found all over, nestled in big cities and embraced in expanding suburbs. They’re easy to spot and a popular choice for families and couples to own or rent for a variety of reasons, including price point and convenience. While we may all know what a townhome is when we look at them, applying a specific definition may be harder.

Inspired by our recent addy in Airdrie, we’re going to analyze what exactly a townhome is, its benefits and drawbacks and what to know about our exciting Airdrie Block opportunity.

What is a townhome?

A townhome, also referred to as a townhouse, is a single-family home with at least one shared wall to another single-family home within a development of houses. An individual, couple or family resides in a townhome; there is no shared space with another family within the unit.

Townhome owners have a private entrance directly to their space. They may have private outside space as well to go with communal outdoor space too. Owners pay into the maintenance and development of shared outdoor space as well as a variety of services, including garbage collection.

When an individual or group buys a single townhome, they are investing in residential real estate. However, anytime four or more units are part of a purchase, the collection of townhomes is considered commercial real estate. The same applies to a condo building or multi family home of five or more units. At this size, the property is considered commercial real estate.

Townhomes vs. single-family homes vs. condos

Townhomes share similarities with single-family homes and condos, and sort of fall in between these two popular residential properties. SFH are freestanding units where a single family, as the name suggests resides within and owns everything on the property, as well as the land itself. They pay taxes and insurance and can do whatever they want with the property provided they adhere to the law.

Condos, meanwhile, have a lot more restrictions. Condo owners are subject to a condo board or homeowners association, paying fees for a variety of services and shared amenities. You own a unit, but not land, and generally can’t really change much as far as construction or architecture goes.

Townhomes, meanwhile, are less controlled by a board or HOA, but they still exist. Owners typically maintain the interior and exterior of the townhome, and may have fewer restrictions. Townhomes generally have one or two neighbours: condo units usually have people on either side of you, above, below and even across the hallway.

Townhome pros and cons


Townhomes are generally cheaper than single-family, detached or semi-detached homes, providing a more affordable price point for entry into homeownership. They provide some of the perks of living in a condo building, in which maintenance and service issues are handled by a third party. However, unlike condos, townhomes offer a private entrance to the home (unless you’ve a condo unit on the first floor). They also may have some private outdoor space, like a front garden or small fenced-in backyard.

Shared amenities may also appeal to some: this may include a park, playground or pool. Some may have outdoor party spaces and grills that can be reserved as well. What’s more, most have parking spaces, even in big cities.


Those services and maintenance tasks we mentioned come out of regular fees a townhome owner must pay. You may not like where those fees are going, and it can be hard to find an exact breakdown of the costs or get a refund. For example, in developments where shared amenities were shut down during the pandemic, townhome owners didn’t necessarily get money back when they weren’t in use.

Some may see townhome ownership as glorified renting: you own your home, but you can’t just do whatever you want to the building or land. A board or company provides rules and restrictions.

Those regulations may also involve whether or not pets are allowed on the property. You may be forced to maintain a certain aesthetic or keep those in charge updated on who are living on the property.

addy in Airdrie

addy’s latest investment in Airdrie, Alberta is a block of 40 townhomes that are to be acquired and rented for a period of ten years. This new development is modern and efficient, part of a growing community just outside Calgary.

Only members can invest in this exciting opportunity. Join the platform today to take part in crowdfunding commercial real estate with a growing community of Canadians. If you’re already a member, refer a friend to addy and you both will earn $25 in your wallet to put towards an investment.

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One thought on “addy Answers: What is a Townhome?

  1. Cameron Rogers says:

    In the Canadian context modern townhomes are only distinguished from condos in that they have front doors oriented to the outside instead of an interior hallway. The condo/strata associations are exactly the same. Exterior maintenance etc is a common cost. In the US older city context (say Boston or Washington DC) a townhouse was a 3 or 4 story home on it’s own lot with zero setbacks between the townhome and adjoining homes.

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