Blending the convenience of a condo with the privacy of a single-family home, modern townhomes are popping up everywhere, from urban centers to the suburbs.
These residences can be more efficient, easier to maintain, and often cheaper than a standard single-family house.
Sometimes referred to as terrace or attached homes, townhouses are multi-story, single-family homes in medium-density developments that share a wall with at least one neighbor. Unlike apartments and condos, these properties have separate, individual entrances, and the lot of land the home sits on belongs to the townhome’s owner.
Townhomes provide homebuyers with a space-efficient, affordable housing option. And townhomes offer more flexibility and space for customization than rented apartments or smaller condos. Therefore, if the house doesn’t already have the type of upgrades and accessibility options you’re looking for, there are plenty of ways to create a space that works for your lifestyle and budget, such as small home elevators and stair lifts.
Where Are Townhomes Popular?
While the housing style dates all the way back to 16th-century Europe, townhomes are gaining popularity in many of today’s real estate markets. In urban areas, builders are putting up townhomes to make the most of limited land availability. The vertical layout maximizes space in cities with premium real estate prices. These compact solutions are also popular in suburbia as a cost-savvy compromise between sprawling single-family homes and high-rise apartment units.
Townhomes are also popular in college towns and retirement communities due to their affordability and slimmed-down scale. They’re a preferred option for popular tourist destinations as well, since they make great short-term rentals.
Townhome communities are often strategically located near urban centers and transportation hubs, offering easy access to work, nightlife, and daily necessities.
Why Are Townhomes Becoming More Popular?
People want to live near where they work and play, and townhomes cater to a variety of lifestyles. Townhome communities tend to come with shared amenities like parks, gyms, pools, and rec areas, which residents can enjoy more often since the homeowners association (HOA) typically covers time-consuming exterior home maintenance.
The low-maintenance lifestyle is one of the top reasons people are moving toward townhome purchases. HOAs often handle everything from landscaping to roof repair, so busy professionals, college kids, and retirees can enjoy a hands-off approach to property upkeep.
That hands-off approach is also attractive to investors, and townhomes can provide a steady stream of short- and long-term rental income — particularly in high-demand urban areas and college towns.
These vertical living spaces come in a range of floor plans with options for customization, and some of the newer developments feature energy-efficient building practices and increased security measures.
Additionally, the floor plans of townhomes can be customized with features to help residents age in place. They’re becoming a preferred choice for people looking to downsize while still having enough space for long-term comfortable living.
Accessibility in Vertical Living Spaces
For people who rely on accessibility assistance, moving into a multi-story property may initially pose some navigation worries. However, townhomes can become easily accessible through several upgrade options.
Small Home Elevator
A residential elevator is an elegant way to add convenience and accessibility to a new home or as part of a remodel. Even if accessibility isn’t an issue now, many people add a small home elevator to get ahead of potential future mobility challenges — or just make multi-story living more convenient! It adds a touch of luxury that can be an appealing feature for resale.
Small home elevators make great additions to townhomes, making it easy to transport items from any level to the garage and back at the push of a button. Users can confidently transport anything from groceries to heavy suitcases.
As a bonus, small home elevators make a luxurious impression on visitors.
Shaftless Home Elevator
A shaftless or pitless elevator is an excellent option for tight spaces that doesn’t require extensive construction. This compact elevator operates without the need for a pit or machine room. A pitless elevator is ideal for existing townhomes where digging a traditional elevator pit may not be possible.
Shaftless elevators come in a range of models, with some options large enough to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs. Depending on the home’s layout, a shaftless elevator can even fit in a stacked closet space. These efficient elevators, which travel between two floors, are perfect for retrofitting and ease concerns about aging in place through the vertical living lifestyle.
If you’re looking for a construction-free path to accessibility, stair lifts are a safe, cost-effective, and simple way to gain independence throughout your home. Have a narrow stair case? In some cases, a stair chair can fit stairs as narrow as 28″ to 30″ wide.
Stair lifts attach directly to stair treads, requiring no additional construction. The seat folds out of the way when not in use for further convenience.
How to Purchase a Home Elevator or Stair Lift
If you’re interested in equipping your townhome with a small home elevator or a stair lift, it’s essential to work with a reputable company that can help advise you on the right type of lift to fit your needs.
One of the most common questions is, “How much will it cost?” And, while equipment cost transparency is important, you’ll also want an honest rundown of what to expect from the permitting, installation, and inspection processes.
Many lift or elevator companies only offer one brand or model, but every home and every homeowner has different needs. So, look for a company that provides multiple options. That way, you can customize your experience and get the right fit for your space and your budget.
Visit a showroom if possible so you can compare different models before you buy, and go with a company like Arrow Lift that offers to schedule a free in-home consultation, so you can receive advice specific to your home’s layout and learn about what to expect from start to finish.
Finally, be sure to check out the buying guide to help answer your questions before you buy.
The Elevated Townhome
For the savvy homebuyer, townhomes offer an affordable and convenient alternative to detached properties. And, thanks to a wide variety of mobility solutions, the potential accessibility challenges of vertical real estate don’t have to keep you from taking advantage of all the benefits townhome living has to offer.
Whether you’re building a new townhome, buying an existing home, or you’ve already moved in, you can explore a whole menu of mobility options like stair lifts and home elevators that redefine convenience and add a touch of luxury to modern living.