Townhouse vs. Duplex

Townhouse vs. Duplex

For many first-time home buyers and young families, purchasing a traditional detached house is not an investment they are prepared to make. In this case, both townhouses and duplexes are ideal alternatives because they offer more reasonable price tags than detached homes and larger living areas than apartments. While the differences between a townhouse and a detached home are fairly obvious, closer examination is required to determine the differences between a townhouse and a duplex. So if you are hunting for a townhouse or a duplex in Saskatoon hopefully the information below will be helpful.


In general, townhouses can be described as a series of individual residences attached side by side in a row, with each home sharing at least one wall with its immediate neighbours. There are two types of townhouses – freehold, in which you own the townhouse and the land it sits upon, and condominium, in which you lay claim only to the interior living space while sharing ownership of any outdoor common areas with the other residents. In a condo-style arrangement, all maintenance and repairs are funded by the monthly fees you pay to the Home Owners Association, but there are often restrictions on upgrades and exterior alterations due to the communal nature of these complexes.

As the name implies, a freehold townhouse offers greater autonomy over your residence, allowing the opportunity to improve your quality of life and increase resale value through renovations and additions. Since you own the townhouse and the land, there are no monthly dues to be paid, but you are completely responsible for all maintenance and repairs on the property. Although freehold townhouses are more expensive than their condo counterparts, both are more affordable than a duplex.


If you’re wary of shouldering the entire burden of purchasing a detached home on your own, a duplex may be the right option for you. Usually standing two storeys high, a duplex is a two-unit house shared by two separate sets of residents with their own distinct entrances, featuring an individual living space on each floor. Stacked on top of each other, these are full units decked out with separate kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms for each resident or family to call their own. The most affordable duplex arrangement is in the event that you can buy a single storey within a duplex, although it is more rare.

A great upside of purchasing a whole duplex lies in the consistent income generated by leasing the second unit, alleviating some of the stress involved in mortgage payments. Because you are able to rent out the other half of the house, a duplex is a sensible investment opportunity for first-time home buyers in addition to providing a home you can cherish and enjoy. However, since a duplex features double the amount of appliances, the utility bills are much higher and require responsible tenants to pay their fair share. Any conflict with your tenants can be prevented by engaging in a thorough interview process to select the most compatible candidates and including specific stipulations in the final lease agreement.

We Can Help

At Realty Executives, we have the experience and expertise to help you make an informed decision when you’re debating between a townhouse and a duplex. If you’re still on the fence, contact us today.


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