The Case for Buying a Townhouse Over a Condo or Co-op in NYC

Posted April 5th, 2021 by Stanley Montfort

The overwhelming majority of property sales in Manhattan and Brooklyn are for co-op and condo apartments. Apartment living comes with several benefits. Specifically, many buyers are drawn to the building amenities, 24-hour doormen, spectacular views, on-site maintenance, and so forth. 

As a result, many New Yorkers, unfortunately, overlook the opportunity to purchase a townhouse. Below we will discuss why more New Yorkers should look into purchasing a townhouse in Manhattan or Brooklyn over buying a co-op or condo. 

  • Privacy

Townhouses offer owners a great deal of privacy, which is rare in a city filled with over 8 million people. Most townhomes feature terraces, decks, and backyards, providing beautiful private outdoor space for the homeowner. In some cases, there may also be a front porch. If you have children and/or pets, townhomes are perfect because they give your children and pets extra space to run around and enjoy. 

  • Faster Closing

Notably, when a person buys a townhouse in NYC, they don’t have to worry about getting a co-op or condo board’s approval. As such, the home buying process is typically faster, from signing the sales contract to the final closing.  

  • Potential Rental Income

Some townhome owners decide to split up their townhome to create multiple units or additional rooms. These newly created units can be used to generate rental income. Renting out portions of your townhome is a smart investment. Essentially, your tenants could be paying all or part of your monthly mortgage payment. Because of limited space and other regulations, this opportunity is not available for condo and co-op units. 

However, keep in mind that you must consult an experienced New York City Real Estate Attorney and Architect before splitting up your townhome or attempting to reconfigure it. Generally speaking, you will most likely have to apply for a new Certificate of Occupancy for the New York City Department of Buildings if you are subtracting or adding units and/or rooms.

  • Low Carrying Cost

The fact that townhome owners do not have to pay monthly condo common charges or co-op maintenance charges means that they can save a good amount of money. While it is true that townhouse owners are 100% responsible for any repairs and maintenance costs, these expenses can be used to increase the tax basis of your home whenever you decide to sell it.  

  • Original Details

Excluding the newer developments, most townhomes in New York City were built in the 19th and 20th centuries. While it is true that many owners have stripped away at the original details of their townhome, you can still find many that have some original details incorporated with modern features. Notably, some owners love the stained glass, beautiful fireplaces, original floors, and woodwork of older townhouses as these are features you won’t find in the majority of New York City co-ops or condo apartments. 

Overall, there are several reasons why buyers should consider purchasing a townhouse over a co-op or condo in New York City. Townhomes are fun to own, especially in a city with over 8 million residents it’s nice to have your own private space. The potential for lucrative rental income coupled with low carry costs, townhomes are sound financial investments for homebuyers and investors. An experienced NYC real estate agent can make your townhouse search easier and advise you of your options in the current market. 

Schedule a call with me here if you have any interest in obtaining a complimentary valuation for your home or buyer consultation.

Connect with me on Linkedin or Instagram for more information on the townhouse and multifamily market.


Authored by: Stanley Montfort


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