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House Vs Townhouse Vs Apartment 

 April 16, 2021

The great Australian dream is to own your own home, however, this dream seems to be diminishing due to the current competition in the Australian property market. This is why the first and possibly most important decision when entering into the market, is determining what property is right for you. There are vast differences between houses, townhouses and apartments, which is why we have simplified all the pros and cons to each different type of property.

Firstly, when determining what type of property you can purchase, the most important factor is budget. Yes, we would all love to live in a fancy house located within arms reach of the city, with a pool and luscious garden. However, this isn’t quite the reality for most. 

Budget is the main factor that can halt your property purchasing decisions. This is even more significant for first-time buyers who may have a more restricted budget as they start their property journey. So, before you begin, determine what your borrowing capacity is so you can shop within your price range. 

Secondly, location is key. Start by determining what your needs and wants are. You might want a nice community surrounded by amenities such as transport or cafes. Or maybe you just want a peaceful outer suburb property with a veggie garden. Nevertheless, once you know what you want, you can determine what suburbs can satisfy those needs. Inner-city houses and townhouses are generally quite expensive as they are closer to the CBD. The more affordable houses and townhouses tend to be located in the outer suburbs, flaunting space over a central location. Apartments on the other hand are mainly within the inner suburbs, with close proximity to transport and shopping centers.

Thirdly, lifestyle will play a huge role when determining the most appropriate property for you. If you’re focused on growing a family, a house close to schools may be most suitable. If you’re looking for the peace and privacy of your own cosy place, a townhouse might be what you’re after. Alternatively, if you want a low-maintenance property close to amenities, an apartment could be just the thing. 

To help you along your property journey and determine what satisfies your needs and wants, we have drummed up a little pros and cons list.

House 

Pros of buying a house

  • More space and freedom.  To create the home of your dreams. As you are the landowner, you have a lot more flexibility to renovate your house and make appropriate changes. 
  • More privacy. With less shared spaces including walls. This minimises the likelihood of noisy neighbours. 
  • Bigger outdoor spaces. Means you can have the great Australian dream of a big, luscious garden. These spaces are perfect if you have kids and pets, and for those that love to entertain. 
  • Appreciation in value. Due to population growth and changing preferences, land appreciates. People want to be close to amenities and family, and will spend money to get this convenience. As population continues to grow, so too will the need for availability of land, therefore further increasing property demand and property prices. 

Cons of buying a house

  • High cost. Purchasing a house is much more expensive than buying a townhouse or apartment. When you buy a house there will also be many costs associated such as utilities and maintenance. Bills will be higher, as there are more electricity and heating for a larger space. And consequently, a larger house comes with more areas to clean, repair and maintain. If you’ve already bought a house that’s run down, then expect these repair bills to be even more expensive.
  • High maintenance. Purchasing a house means you will need to maintain the appearance, infrastructure and internal features. From gardens to general property maintenance such as painting or flooring, owning your own home comes with a hefty price tag. Especially if you’ve purchased an older more dilapidated home. 

Townhouse

Pros of buying a townhouse

  • Low associated costs. As a townhouse is a smaller space, there is less you’re paying for and you will incur lower expenses for utilities and maintenance costs. This means you’re not going to need to inject considerable funds into repairs or maintenance of your property. It also costs a lot less to own a townhouse, as it’s only a fraction of the land, making it easier for people to purchase. 
  • Affordable. Can be more attainable when looking for a townhouse rather than a house due to the lower cost and deposit required. 
  • Spaciousness. This can be the best of both worlds: as the larger space allows you to live more comfortably yet you still have access to low maintenance, smaller garden. 

Cons of buying a townhouse

  • Less freedom than a house, as townhouses have more restrictions on renovations due to body corporation bylaws. Along with this, all townhouses in a development look the same or very similar, so there is little opportunity for individuality. 
  • Strata fees, body corporate fees, or owners corporations fees. These are ongoing expenses that help to maintain the building and communal areas and can range from 1,000 to 10,000 per year, depending on how many communal areas need servicing such as pools and gyms. 
Cornus Malvern

Apartments

Pros of buying an apartment

  • More affordable. Apartments are a great option, as they cost less to purchase, have little to no maintenance and repairs and due to the size are simple and easy to clean. Another benefit is that there are huge off-the-plan savings. Government incentives and reduced stamp duty help to greatly reduce costs, saving you a lot of money upfront. 
  • Centrally located.  Generally, apartments are surrounded by public transport, shopping/amenities and restaurants. Making apartment living the ultimate convenience.
  • Less maintenance. There is little to no garden to maintain when purchasing an apartment. Ground-level courtyards will feature a garden and on your balcony, you can choose to grow your own, however, how grand you make your garden is your choice. Another benefit of a Cornus apartment is that we plant drought-resistant landscaping, so our residents can spend less time maintaining a garden. 
  • Security. In most new apartments, a secure car park and building entry is included to ensure residents are always feeling safe. Here at Cornus Developments, all of our apartments have secure building access.

Cons of buying an apartment

  • Less space. One of the tradeoffs of apartment living is less space, but it’s not all bad news! Living inner-city surrounded by amenities can make up for a smaller house. Couples, families and individuals can benefit from the close proximity to schools, work and transport. With so many amenities just outside your apartment, there’s really no need for a huge property! Aside from this, a common concern for residents is the lack of storage space in an apartment. That’s why for our off-the-plan developments, we offer secure basement storage solutions so you can get your bulky items out of the way and live comfortably in your apartment. 
  • Lack of privacy and heightened noise. This can be a concern, as you’re living right next to your neighbours. Hearing your neighbours early in the morning and late at night can be a huge deterrent to buying an apartment. After all, you want to buy a home that’s peaceful and feels like it’s only you living there! To combat potentially noisy neighbours, double glazed windows and double insulated walls are in every Cornus construction to serve as a noise-cancelling feature, providing our residences with a little bit of peace and quiet. 
  • Limited parking is often a problem with apartments. Typically, an apartment will come with only one car space

So, what is right for you?

Apartments are the perfect opportunity for first home buyers to break into the property market. Current government grants, off-the-plan duty concession and location are all positive factors that drive this group towards purchasing apartments. Apartments are also great for those looking to downsize their property, into something smaller that requires less maintenance and provides security. 

For those looking for space and have, or are intending on, growing a family, a townhouse or house is a better option. Although price may be the largest determining factor, if location is sacrificed there will always be an opportunity. Townhouses are often a popular choice for those buyers who are looking for something in between.

With all that being said, let’s summarise some of the key points of comparison between the three property types so you have a better idea of what’s most suitable for you. 

HouseTownhouseApartment 
Budget High Mid-HighLow-Mid
Maintenance Large amount of maintenance (interior and exterior of house, garden, naturestrip)Moderate amount of maintenance (interior of house, small garden)Low maintenance (interior of house only, as body corporate will maintain the rest)
LocationVariously dispersed, more expensive sought after property is inner city, whilst property in less desirable locations tends to be more affordableSimilar to houses Tend to be in the inner city, close to public transport and shopping centres 
Privacy Great amount of privacy being a stand alone property. Not sharing walls with neighbours so noise is less of a concernGood amount of privacy, however you may be sharing walls with your neighbours so noise may be a concernSharing walls with neighbours so noise could be a problem, however many developers have strategies to avoid such issues
SpacePotential for a large amount of space, both inside and in the garden areaLess space than a house but more than an apartmentLess space than houses and townhouses 

So now it’s up to you to ask yourself what property suits you best. Whether that be a house, townhouse or apartment, do some research and consider all of your options. 

If it’s a new apartment development that you think could be your next dream home, check out our Malvern East II, Burwood La Frank and our newly announced Cornus Carnegie project. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Cornus Developments!

Fill out this form for more information on our Cornus Carnegie project

For more information on our Cornus Malvern East II project please fill out the below form

Fill out this form form more information on our Cornus La Frank (Burwood) project

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