What is a townhouse?

1. A house in the city, esp. as distinguished from a house in the country owned by the same person.

2. One of a row of houses joined by common sidewalls.

3. A dwelling unit, generally having two or more floors and attached to other similar units via party walls.

Why are townhouses being built?

Land in Seattle is becoming scarce and very expensive. With short supply of land, developers and city leaders have to utilize the land in the most efficient way. Townhouses provide a vertical and dense housing option other than condominiums and apartments. With their smaller footprint, typically more townhouse units can be built on appropriately zoned property than detached homes. Providing more housing units and much needed options for Seattle homeowners.

What is a zero lot line?

A type of housing development in which individual dwelling units are placed on separately platted lots and share a common wall(s). Typically townhouses in Seattle fall under this category.

Is a townhouse a condominium? 

For Seattle the answer is often, no. Typical Seattle townhouse construction is done in a zero lot line fashion. This is a situation where there is no home owners association and each parcel is individually owned often with a small yard or green space.

Is there a Homeowners Association?

In Seattle the answer is typically no. Each owner is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their own home. Just like a stand-alone single family. Often the developer will put in place maintenance agreements and easements to create an understanding amongst owners on certain areas like driveways. Today some homeowner associations are being put in place but only for maintenance of landscaping or walkways. Not for the entire exterior structure like a condominium.

What is the difference between a townhouse and a townhome?

A townhouse is the proper term for attached housing that generally has two or more floors. Townhome is a word created by real estate agents for marketing townhouses. While not accurate many real estate agents use the term townhome to describe townhouse style architecture.