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ChrisPHous

3-Story Townhouses, good deal?

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A friend of mine is interested in purchasing his first home and after a long search he has decided on one of these dime a dozen town homes. I'm guessing someone on this site owns one, from what I've heard a lot of them a poorly (cheaply rather) constructed. The house is in Afton Oaks on a street with only single family lots. Is there any chance these places will go up in value or will people always be looking for a new one?

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Unless he's in his early 20's tell him not to do it lest he climb 1000 feet of stairs every day.

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There's nothing inherently flawed with the design. Whether or not it is a cheaply made house depends on the builder and the materials that were used.

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Unless he's in his early 20's tell him not to do it lest he climb 1000 feet of stairs every day.

On the other hand, you can dump the gym membership and just walk/run your stairs each day for 30 minutes.

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Former inner loop TH owner here who now lives in single-family single story in loop. I avoided buying another TH because

1. TH's in the loop seem to peak in their popularity after 12 years of life. Afer that, buyers want it updated if it's an older one (mine was, so selling wasn't difficult... but it did not appreciate much).

2. TH's get old after awhile dealing with all the stairs. Your buddy might like it initially, but I grew to loathe having those stairs (and I'm in my 20's in good shape).

3. TH owner's associations. My place was spotless, but the orgs are pretty much powerless to do any real enforcement (other than write nasty letters). If your neighbor doesn't want to fix that whole in the roof, well you're screwed if your unit is attached to theirs.

I bought my TH knowing I'd have to sell it eventually when we started a family. I came to my senses and ended up buying a single story from the 50's knowing I can live in it forever and upgrade it the way I want to. After moving to a single story house, I must say it's friggin awesome. It's so easy to maintain, do upgrades, move furniture, hang xmas lights, etc. If your buddy really wants a TH, just make sure he researches the TH org, see how the other TH's nearby are maintained, and realize that buyers eventually will look for the next new, shiny inner loop TH... so he'll have to keep it somewhat updated.

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On the other hand, you can dump the gym membership and just walk/run your stairs each day for 30 minutes.

What will he do for upper body strength?

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I agree completely, brian0123, on aging townhomes -- and will further say, I will never again live anywhere that involves condo association meetings. I would much sooner live out of a pop-up camper. I took no part, but occasionally hosted and made the coffee: a barely-tolerable hour-and-a-half spent listening to people grouse about the rats, squirrels, etc. that found their way into their homes; finally winding up with some visionary's attempt to get everyone to agree to a modest assessment to upgrade, say, the birdcrap-covered, upward-shining outdoor ball lights (that was my never-to-be-realized dream), or a motion to landscape or repair the falling down letters on the sign; which would generally fail. Our not-insignificant dues went almost entirely to a clockwork schedule of leaf-blowing.

Honesty compels me to admit we made money on that place, though.

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Brian and Luciaphile, thanks this is good stuff! Never really thought about how much of a pain 2 flights of stairs from car to room would be. In the end were you able to at least get what you paid for it?

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Brian and Luciaphile, thanks this is good stuff! Never really thought about how much of a pain 2 flights of stairs from car to room would be. In the end were you able to at least get what you paid for it?

I sold it for more than I bought... but minus fees/closing costs/etc. to sell and what I put into it... I lost a couple k. Not bad considering I would have lost $1700 a month to rent something comparable.

I did love my TH so it's really up to your friend as to what lifestyle they live and what they care to deal with. I had awesome neighbors, but the amount of rentals in the TH's started to concern me (along with the other things I mentioned). TH's are nice a shiny at first, but they all age similarily and start to need new paint/roofs/ac/etc. around the same time. Some TH's will do the upgrades... others won't. Your property values will be impacted by those that don't esp if you share a driveway or common area with them.

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another plus of townhome (or condo) life: no outdoor space to maintain.

another minus of townhome (or condo) life: no outdoor space to call your own.

What will he do for upper body strength?

as long as your upper body retains the strength to lift a beer to your lips, what more strength does a person need in today's lifestyle? otherwise, some dumbbells of various sizes can go a long way.

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It should be noted that not all townhouses come with the dreaded HOA. There are many "fee-simple" townhomes.

Many, if not most, of the townhouses in Houston have HOA's, even though they are fee simple properties. The type of ownership doesn't really have anything to do with the existence of an HOA.

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The responses to this questions seem to run along the lines of, "I wouln't want a townhome, therefore they are bad." The fact is, they are great for a certain segment of the population, namely, those who do not want to maintain a big yard, yet do not want neighbors above or below them. Having lived in both condos and single family homes, I can see a time when a townhome may be good for me. One should be aware of the limitations, yet at the same time, one should not discount townhomes just because some others do not think they fit their own particular lifestyle.

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Many, if not most, of the townhouses in Houston have HOA's, even though they are fee simple properties. The type of ownership doesn't really have anything to do with the existence of an HOA.

The terminology may not be precisely correct, but that is the way realtors commonly refer to town homes without HOAs.

My point still stands: not all townhouses come with HOAs. I bought a townhouse 4 1/2 years ago after looking at dozens of townhouses. Not a single one of the townhouses I looked at came with an HOA. (FWIW, the was mostly in the MontroseComDcwmr/River Oaks and the Rice Military/Camp Logan areas.

Edited by Houston19514

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The terminology may not be precisely correct, but that is the way realtors commonly refer to town homes without HOAs.

My point still stands: not all townhouses come with HOAs. I bought a townhouse 4 1/2 years ago after looking at dozens of townhouses. Not a single one of the townhouses I looked at came with an HOA. (FWIW, the was mostly in the MontroseComDcwmr/River Oaks and the Rice Military/Camp Logan areas.

you're right, one of my friends lives in a townhome, it's even gated, there's no HOA. if the gate breaks, someone walks around and collects money from everyone to hire someone to fix it. of course, there's only like 6 townhomes in the group, so it's not that big a deal.

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I owned a 3 story townhome in the 1990s on Elmen St. I loved the location and loved the home. There was no HOA at my 4 bldg complex. I also made a little bit of a profit when I sold the home.

As for the stairs, they didn't bother me at all. In fact, my waist is 3 inches bigger now without the stairs!

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