Townhouse boom fizzles

  • Article by: SUSAN FEYDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 22, 2012 - 11:25 PM

Townhouses, which played a key role in the pre-recession suburban housing boom, have been largely left on the sidelines in the recent recovery. Buyers are gravitating to single-family homes or opting for apartment living.

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TobsterDec. 22, 1211:23 PM

In a lot of cases, townhouses are more expensive than single family homes after figuring association fees in. The initial price of the home isn't much cheaper than a single family home either. Why pay all that money to share common walls with people? If TH's become (and stay) significantly cheaper then they might make more sense. But right now they don't. Expense-wise they should sit somewhere between an apartment and SF home. But they're too close in cost to SF homes.

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YellowDog2Dec. 23, 12 1:01 AM

My wife and I are retirees with a single family home that we are planning to sell and have been looking at detached townhomes rather than the attached style, and would like to move into one of those. We don't wish to move to an apartment. We plan to travel more now that we are retired, and not having to worry about the yard and driveway would be a plus for us in a detached townhome.

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chewnutDec. 23, 12 6:07 AM

Townhouse owners can't sell or re finance. IF over 15% of the Homeowners Assoc members are past due: NO MORTGAGE. IF over 25% of units are NON owner occupied: NO MORTGAGE. Neither of wich is enforced ..

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fonzi3Dec. 23, 12 7:48 AM

With the tremendous lack of transparency and disclosure in so many condo and townhome associations, is it any wonder the demand is so low this product? It's appalling that the state, county and cities have allowed this lack of transparency to continue. Wake up politicians.

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northhillDec. 23, 12 8:08 AM

Townhouse living is only as good as the association.Townhouses decreased in value just as single family homes did.Their owners are no longer willing to pay asessments for repairs for a unit that has worth only a fraction of what it once was.Dues still keep going up and service poor.Vendors cut corners on routine maintenance like using cheap paint ete.Snow shoveling is haphazard.Owners ask themselves I can do this better than the vendors.Townhouses built in the 1990's were easy to maintain when new,not anymore.Associations now are trying to pass off some exterior maintenance costs on to the homeowner.Townhouse living has lost its luster.

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fonzi3Dec. 23, 12 8:09 AM

@chewnut, you're right. Take a look at some of the associations that don't enforce the amount of rental units in their associations, and then look at the property values there. Case in point. If these associations (especially those with annual budgets in the millions), the state may need to step in, as it appears these "private" associations can't govern themselves. When these associations have high percentages of rentals and foreclosures, it affects property outside that association, which then becomes a city/county/state issue.

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rlwr51Dec. 23, 12 8:53 AM

Surprise, surprise, surprise...

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boshkDec. 23, 12 8:55 AM

never understood why someone would buy a townhouse in the middle of nowhere.

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boshkDec. 23, 12 8:57 AM

people are probably finally realizing that they can get more house by avoiding the association scam.

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onelesscarDec. 23, 12 8:59 AM

very sad...townhomes have less of an environmental impact than single family homes. Apartment style housings (like Europe, Asia and India) offers the least environmental impact.

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