There is no type of property in the real estate market that divides opinion like stacked townhouses. You either love them or hate them. Some people love them so much, while others avoid them like the plague. In this article, we shall look at the pros and cons of this type of property. Before we do, lets first answer the question, what is a stacked townhouse? Just like the name suggests, they are home units built on top of each other, usually three of them hence the name stacked.
If you live in any of the units, you have a neighbor above, below, or both of them. Such units are becoming quite popular in Toronto. They are the fastest-growing real estate segment over the last couple of years. Now let’s dive into the pros and cons.
Pros of Stacked Townhouses
Stacked townhomes are more affordable than comparable regular townhomes of the same size. This is because the stacking of three or four houses on the same piece of the land reduces the land acquisition costs and also some building costs. Affordability is a top consideration for many first time homeowners.
This is a major consideration since most stacked townhouses are found in new exciting neighborhoods. These locations are favorable to many families since they are low dense, allowing residents to have a cool neighborhood. Location is also a top consideration to people who want to live close to the city but don’t want to live in high rise apartments. A stacked townhouse gives the advantages of a location while also living in a townhouse.
Still, on location, many stacked townhomes are located in areas close to schools, parks, and other social amenities hence their family-friendly designation. Developers have a particular type of client in mind while building the stacked townhouse; therefore, they try to consider social amenities close to the neighborhood.
This is a feature of many stacked townhomes. Each unit has a private entrance from the street. This is different from stacked condos that have shared hallways. The private entrance gives some form of privacy and control. Since this feature is in high demand among people looking for homes, developers are keen to include it as a selling point.
Stacked townhouses in Toronto have very cool designs compared to high rise condos. This is mainly because of the target clientele. They are urban, cool, young professionals who are impressed by the cool designs. Some people may dismiss this as just aesthetics, but the modern homeowner doesn’t want to live in dull unappealing spaces.
The design must be in harmony with the surrounding natural environment and the general neighborhood. Paradise Developments showcases some cool townhouse designs.
Due to the rising demand for stacked townhouses, they are likely to increase in value in the future. Some people may argue this point that stacked townhouses do not appreciate much in value. However, the modern ones being built are found in uptown neighborhoods. They are very popular, and demand is likely to outrun supply in the near future.
Previously, developers built stacked townhouses in the downtown market. This is no longer the case. Most developers prefer building high rise condos as this makes more economic sense for them. A stacked townhouse will inevitably increase in value in the future.
This is a hot selling point even for high rise condos. If you have some outdoor spaces for residents to enjoy, then the property is likely to be bought very fast. Now, stacked townhouses have quite some outdoor space. A property with three units sharing the outdoor space and maybe some rooftop terrace is quite attractive. Depending on the developer, most townhouses will have either some front yard space, backyard space, or rooftop terrace.
Cons of Stacked Townhouses
This type of property is known to have several stairs, which may be too daunting to some people. For instance, an older couple or someone with mobility challenges may not want to live in a house with several staircases. Some may have as many as three stairs. If you live in the upper units, a staircase leading to your front door is inevitable. Another staircase from the living room to the bedroom and another leading to the terrace.
Still, on this point, the staircases eat up on the overall space. When measured in square footage, a house with two or three staircases will have less space that one without them. This is a concern to some people.
Some stack condos have hidden costs that are a turn off to many buyers. The hidden costs are mainly for maintenance fees and rental items. Due to their shared nature, some maintenance costs will apply to all the residents. Essential items such as heating, gas, and water tanks may incur monthly rental fees. This may dampen the excitement a potential buyer had with the unit.
Many buyers are looking to purchase properties that have low maintenance costs. If they are to pay the maintenance costs, they want to enjoy the amenities that come with it, not for the essential stuff. Some high rise apartments have additional social amenities such as a swimming pool, gym, clubhouse, etc. that residents will have no problem paying for.
Having people living above or below you or being sandwiched between, may lead to some noise. Imagine your upper neighbor having a party in their balcony. Some noise will definitely get to your house, which may not be very pleasant. Stacked townhouses lack the homely feel if we may call it so. Even though detached and semidetached houses are more expensive, some people prefer them due to this con.
If you are looking to buy a stacked townhouse in Toronto, having a deep understanding of the pros and cons of this type of property will help you make a good final decision. As in all real estate matters, it is not easy making the decision. I hope this article has helped you have a better understanding of stacked townhouses.