How to Buy a Townhouse in Seattle 

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Learn my top 5 Diva tips on how to buy a townhouse in Seattle & take a moment to tour our latest Diva Dwelling in Madison Valley. 

Want to know how to buy a townhouse in Seattle and take a peek at our newest Diva Dwelling? In this blog, we are going to go into detail about the ins and outs of buying a townhouse in Seattle. Buying a townhouse in Seattle may seem super easy. But there are things that you need to be aware of so you can be a smart Diva Dweller (or homebuyer, as they say in the muggle world).

Top Five Tips for Buying a Townhouse in Seattle 

  1. Get Educated! 
  2. Know the Builder for the Townhouse 
  3. Read Your Title Report
  4. Do an Inspection! 
  5. Location is Everything with Townhouses 

Here are a few commonly asked questions about townhouses in Seattle: 

Before we get started let’s dive in on a few items about why people choose to buy a townhouse, what is a townhouse, is a townhouse the same as a condo, and where in Seattle can you buy a townhouse?

First a Few Details About Why People Buy Townhouses and Where to Find Them

Madison Valley Townhome Front Yard

 

Let’s dive in on a few items about why people choose to buy a townhouse, what is a townhouse, is a townhouse the same as a condo, and where in Seattle can you buy a townhouse?

Why Do People Choose to Buy a Townhouse in Seattle? 

By integrating the staircase into the center of the home, everything feels more accessible and open.

There are some great reasons to choose a townhome when you buy one. On one hand, you don’t have a homeowners association like you do in a condo. And you also don’t have the home maintenance worries that you would with an older detached single-family home. That said, there are definitely some major details you want to be aware of before buying a townhouse in Seattle.

What is a Townhouse? 

North Beacon Hill Townhouse Spacious Rooftop Deck

If you are not from San Francisco or the East Coast,  you may be unfamiliar with townhomes. This Diva’s roots are from Philly. Specifically South Philly. Back east, we call these rowhomes. The main feature of one of these homes is that you share one or maybe two walls with your neighbors and you have minimal land to maintain. What we have in Seattle is pretty similar. Townhomes provide a perfect opportunity for buyers to own a more affordable newer single-family home in a convenient urban location. 

As you already know, I love townhomes, and I have helped 100s of townhouse buyers and sellers. I am a big fan of urban density and cool modern design. And over the years I’ve seen a ton of innovation happen in the new construction townhome market. This Madison Valley townhouse that we are in today is a prime example of a Seattle townhome: 

Details Why We Are Crushing on This Madison Valley Townhouse

Madison Valley Townhome Living Area

  • It has a sleek and modern design.
  • At only 5 years old, it is a newer built home. 
  • There are no HOA dues to pay.
  • It is built by a reputable builder.
  • Instead of muddy grass and weeds to maintain, you have a fab rooftop deck!  

Is a Townhouse the Same as a Condo?

Meridian Capitol Hill Condo Front Entry

In some cities, like Los Angeles and Houston, townhouses are legally condos. And that comes with all of the protections AND homeowners association fees. Here in Seattle, the majority of townhouses are considered single-family homes. Instead of an HOA watching out for you, you and your neighbors have what is called a “joint maintenance agreement.” It details how the owners in this specific townhome complex are to take care of their homes and common spaces. 

If you want more information about condos check out our recent video we did about How to Buy a Condo in Seattle or pop on over to our blog “How to Buy a Condo in Seattle.” 

Where in Seattle Can You Buy a Townhouse?

North Beacon Hill Townhouse Front Exterior

Not every neighborhood is zoned for dense housing. But some of our favorite neighborhoods where you will see a bevy of townhouse opportunities are Capitol Hill, Ballard, Fremont, North Beacon Hill, Columbia City, Judkins Park, Greenwood, and of course, right here in Madison Valley.

Now below are the top five tips on how to buy a townhouse in Seattle. Let’s dive in.


Top 5 Tips on How to Buy a Townhouse in Seattle

Madison Valley Townhome Front Yard

Today we are going to give you the inside scoop on what you need to know when buying a townhouse. Here are my Five Top Tips for How to Buy a Townhome in Seattle: 

Tip #1: Get Educated!

The basics of buying a townhome are not much different than buying any other single-family home. Here at Team Diva, we are big nerds on educating our buyers. So of course we want you to pop over to our Home Buying series to get yourself all educated. And if you want to get extra nerdy text “Diva Dweller” to 206-271-0264 and we will send you a link to download our Home Buyer Guide. You can also download our Smart Seattle Home Buyer Guide here! 

Tip #2 Know the Builder for the Townhouse

 

There are some incredible builders in this city. And then there are some not-so-great ones. I have learned from experience to be wary of fly-by-night builders who will do a crap job and leave you hanging when a major issue comes up. And we make sure our clients know who’s on the A-list for townhome builders. 

This Madison Valley townhome was built in 2017 by Isola Homes, an extremely reputable builder in the city. We have had several clients buy Isola homes and overall they have had minimal issues. Right now a lot of new construction townhouse developers are struggling with supply chain issues and finding contract workers. We have one client who has been in contract since last summer and the home still hasn’t closed. Hence, know your builder and their ability to finish the job!

Tip #3: Read Your Title Report

Townhouses all have some shared walls and some shared common spaces. This includes things like driveways, walkways, or even communal garden spaces, like this Madison Valley townhome, has. So what happens when it’s time to paint? Or if the driveway starts to crack? There is no homeowner association here collecting money on a regular basis to fix these issues for you. Well, this is where your title report comes in. Most townhomes have what is commonly known as CC&Rs or Joint Maintenance Agreements embedded in the home’s title report. These rules or agreements delineate how homeowners need to handle maintaining their exterior and common spaces. Basically, their purpose is to help make sure your neighbor doesn’t decide to go cray cray and paint their townhome hot pink. Some of these joint maintenance agreements are super detailed. And others are not. 

Chavi did a video a couple of years ago about the title report that goes into more detail. Click here to watch our video “How to Buy a House in Seattle | Reviewing The Title Report.” 

My advice? Get cozy with your neighbors and have a plan for maintenance as a group. This will make your life much easier!

Tip #4: Do an Inspection!!!

I cannot stress this enough. We had a buyer do an inspection on a brand new townhouse only to find out that the builder never built access to the crawl space. And once we got in there we figured out that it was flooded. And supposedly it had been inspected by the city. We have had other clients do a sewer scope on a brand new townhouse just to find out that the line was filled with rock and construction debris. Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s perfect! For more information – pop on over to our video “How to Buy a House in Seattle | Inspecting Your Home” and we will get you going in the right direction.

Oh and BTW! The sellers of this Madison Valley townhome have paid for a full inspection on the home that is available for any interested buyers.

Tip #5: Location is Everything With Townhouses

 

Let’s be honest: People buy townhouses because they are stylish and close to everything. And they have these iconic Seattle roof decks! This is what townhouse living is all about.

You get all of that right here in this sleek Madison Valley Townhome. I mean, just look at the roof deck! I know we Divas could throw a fab Pride Party up in here. And being right in the middle of Madison Valley means you are just a few blocks to cool spots like Harvest Vine, Voila Bistro, Cafe Flora, and Roq La Rue Gallery (one of my fav galleries in the city.) And the Washington Park Arboretum and Japanese Garden are practically your backyard. 

Want more information about the townhouse we have been chatting about?


More Details About the Madison Valley Townhouse That We Keep Mentioning 

Madison Valley Townhome Open Main Living Area

If you want more information about this stunning home and this neighborhood, check the info below! 

All the Details About the Condo

  • MLS #1919736
  • Address: 236 26th Ave E
  • Listing Brokers: Kim V. Colaprete and Michael Jouver
  • Square Footage: 1,290
  • Bedrooms: 2
  • Bathrooms: 1.75
  • Parking: 0

More details on the listing page >


Thank You for Learning About How to Buy a Townhouse in Seattle 

Guide to Buying a Home in Seattle

 

 

And there you have it! Now you know this Diva’s 5 Tips for How to Buy a Townhouse in Seattle. You know that first, you’ll need to take some time to get educated and learn what makes a townhouse unique. How is a townhouse different from a condo? What are the benefits of buying a townhouse? Which Seattle neighborhoods can you find townhomes in? Now you also know that a townhome’s builder matters, and also that it’s super important to carefully read your title report and do an inspection. And finally…. Location, location, location! Location matters a ton when it comes to townhouse living. 

Top Five Tips for Buying a Townhouse in Seattle 

  1. Get Educated! 
  2. Know the Builder for the Townhouse 
  3. Read Your Title Report
  4. Do an Inspection! 
  5. Location is Everything with Townhouses 

Below we have some more information to help you on your townhouse-buying journey: 

More Information To Help You Buy a Townhouse in Seattle 

Neither a condo nor a detached home, a townhouse is its own animal in the world of real estate. And to win when it comes to buying a townhouse in Seattle, you need to know the particulars.

Fortunately, buying a townhouse is no more complicated than a condo or detached home. In some ways, it can be less complicated than either. That may be one reason why they are becoming more common in Seattle, as one answer to our need for greater density. They are especially prominent in Seattle’s more walkable neighborhoods, which we love, of course

We have a blog that breaks down the ins and outs of buying a townhouse. Check it out, as well as our massive How To Buy A Home in Seattle Guide, which covers the process for all sorts of properties.

Thanks for hanging out with us. If it’s time to get yourself educated about the process, check out our Seattle homebuyer video series on Youtube. We also highly recommend downloading our Smart Seattle Home Buyer Guide here! 

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