How to Choose Between a Townhouse, Row Home, and a Condo?

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Searching for a new place to live is always an exciting time, no matter if you’re a first-timer or an experienced house hunter. However, if you’re the former, chances are the whole process ground to a halt at some point. After all, the vast and complex housing market offers you many different types of housing units, and for a beginner, such as sheer freedom of choice may be disorienting. To help you choose your new home, we’ve prepared a short comparison of the three most popular city housing options: townhouses, row homes, and condos.

At the first glance, it may seem like these three options are too similar to each other for it to make a difference, but the moment you delve deeper into them, their differences become more apparent. 

But before we start discussing their own pros and cons, we should first shortly define each of them.

What Is a Condo?

Starting off with the most distinct one, a condo is a multi-unit residential building that can be found in urban areas. Owned by the community, a condo is a private residence that offers you your very own private space, usually a house or an apartment. It is usually a self-contained unit which means it is fully detached from other units, so you won’t share any common areas with your neighbors. Treasure at Tampines is a great example.

A condo is a great choice for those who are looking for something to call their own, as only the common elements, such as floor, walls, or stairwells, are communal property. But not all condominiums are the same, so before you jump into this kind of property, you should determine whether it really meets your expectations and needs. The first thing you should pay attention to is how costs are shared between inhabitants. For example, if the building needs to be repaired in some way, certain fees may be issued apart from the usual bills.

What Is a Row Home?

One of the most popular housing types in many cities is a row home. It is one of the older types built en masse, dating back to the 19th century. It is very convenient, especially if you live in a city and need to be close to specific places and amenities. 

A row home can be found in many urban areas, and like the townhouse, it is not standalone – the individual buildings are not detached but rather connected to each other via common sidewalls. Row homes are usually constructed in rows, hence the name, and tend to share the same looks. Usually, the house is divided into two or three units (especially when it comes to commercial row homes), and all units share the same main entrance.

What Is a Townhouse?

A townhouse is a kind of multi-story residential building that offers more privacy than both a condo and row home. They are often located in urban areas and usually come in pairs (meaning they are attached to each other). The main difference between this type of housing and the previous ones is that townhouses are separate entities, meaning that they have their own addresses and are not connected to other buildings. 

In many cases, they are surrounded by a fence or a wall, so they offer you more privacy. You can find townhouses in almost every urban area, often in residential neighborhoods. They are often bigger than condos and row homes. The downside of townhouses is that they tend to be older than condos and more expensive than row homes so they may require some pricey renovation and repairs.

Choose the Condo if Modern Looks Are a Priority for You

While the row home and the townhouse are usually designed to look homogenous, that’s not true for condos. Most of them are of relatively recent build and offer you contemporary looks that are pleasing to the eye without being too over-the-top, as it happens with styles like brutalism. Another advantage of condos is that they often use the newest architectural solutions, e.g., panoramic windows running from the floor to the ceiling. This is a great feature as it allows natural light to enter the home from all sides.

Choose the Row Home if You Are Looking for a Cozy Home Close To Everything

Without a doubt, the biggest advantage that row homes have over condos and townhouses is their location. They are usually located in the central urban areas and tend to be closer to public transportation, schools, and commercial spaces than a lot of other types of housing. In addition, if you choose a row home in one of the oldest parts of the city, you can find that some of these buildings are really close to each other, making them very cozy and unique-looking. Another advantage of a row home is that they often have their own backyards, which can be a huge benefit if you have a kid or a pet or simply want a place of your own to relax after work.

Choose the Townhouse if You Are Looking for a Mini-House

Unlike row homes, townhouses are not built in a row, and they offer more privacy than other choices. The biggest benefit of a townhouse is that it is designed as a mini-house with all the necessary amenities. Moreover, this type of housing will usually be located further from the road, reducing the noise levels considerably. Moreover, miniature versions of both front and backyard are included, making it a good choice for families with smaller children.


Before you make a decision regarding your next home, it is best to weigh each type of housing against your needs, especially if you are planning to live in the same city for a long time.

If you need a place that is close to public transportation and other urban amenities, a row home is the best choice for you. If you don’t mind some luxury and want to see everyone’s jaw drop when they lay their eyes on your property, then a condo looks like the right thing to invest money in. And finally, if you want a fully unique home with all the necessary amenities that can also be a great place to raise children, a townhouse seems to be the perfect fit.

Once you decide what is a priority to you, finding your perfect place should be a piece of cake! Good luck!