When it comes to buying a new home, condos and townhomes don’t get as much attention as single-family residences. But condos and townhomes can be a great home option, particularly for single women.
Condos and townhomes make great options for single women for a number of reasons, including safety concerns and less maintenance. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of condos and townhomes for single women homebuyers.
According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, 18 percent of recent homebuyers were single females. Of those buyers, the highest percentage of single women buyers were in the 54 to 63 age range and 73 and older age group. For these age groups – and for single women buyers of all ages – safety is a top concern.
Condos, which are part of a building, and townhomes, which are connected to one or more other homes, provide close proximity to neighbors. That can be provide a better sense of security for single women homeowners. But there are also other safety features that come with condos and townhomes.
Many townhomes and condos have secured building access or a security guard at the front gate, says Chantay Bridges, a Realtor and speaker, coach and writer with Real Estate Professionals World Enterprise Marketing. “In addition, some may have locked access to areas like the garage, elevator and front and back gates.”
Bridges explains that some buildings also have cameras that monitor the building remotely.
Nearly two-thirds of homebuyers select homes based on their commute to work, says Dan Cosgrove, a sales and leasing agent with Revolution Realty in Boston, Massachusetts. And condos and townhomes tend to be built in areas that are close to the city center or to easy transportation, such as rail lines or bus stops.
Single women, regardless of age, appreciate a home that’s close to work or other places such as grocery stores, medical facilities and entertainment to help reduce commute times.
These home types are good options for “people that are more geared toward convenience,” Cosgrove says, “meaning they are willing to sacrifice that extra room in order to live closer to the city so they can still be a part of the social action and reduce their dreaded commute to work.”
“Condos and townhomes are a great option for single women due to the ‘lock and leave’ lifestyle provided by these properties,” says Davis Holt, a Realtor with The Results Team, LLC, at Remax United in Raleigh, North Carolina. “The lock and leave lifestyle provides extremely low maintenance opportunities to a group that is likely very active within their community, their jobs and other aspects of life.”
Condo and townhome homeowners’ association (HOA) dues often cover lawn and building maintenance, so you don’t have to spend weekends working on these aspects of homeownership. If you live in an area where it snows a lot, you don’t have to worry about shoveling snow or paying for someone else to do it.
Some condos and townhomes can be a more affordable housing option price-wise for single women than single-family homes, so buyers may see a condo or townhome as a first step into homeownership.
It’s also important to consider the HOA fees associated with condo and townhome ownership. While HOA dues or maintenance fees might seem high at first, Holt points out that these fees can be viewed as a built-in savings account that helps provide lawn and building maintenance that you don’t have to pay for outright. For example, if the AC goes out or needs maintenance, you don’t have to shoulder the full costs alone.
However, monthly HOA fees may increase at some point, so understand how they work before signing any contracts. “Before buying a condo or townhome, a prospective buyer should ensure that there are not any proposed or enforced special assessments that will have a significant increase in their monthly expense,” Holt says.
Whether it’s for safety, convenience, less maintenance or affordability — or a combination thereof, condos and townhomes offer a good way for single women to become home owners, whether they later move on to a single-family residence or decide the condo/townhome life is the perfect life for them.
Patricia L. Garcia is an award-winning freelance journalist who has written for NewHomeSource, the Associated Press, New Mexico magazine and the Texas Bar Journal. When not writing, she can be found in the garden, battling weeds and high-desert heat.