Rowhouses and townhouses are often used interchangeably, but there are key differences between the two. As a real estate appraiser, it’s important to understand these differences to accurately appraise these properties. In this blog, we’ll dive into what makes a rowhouse a rowhouse and a townhouse a townhouse, and what to consider when appraising them.

What is a Rowhouse?

A rowhouse, also known as a row home or townhome, is a type of residential home that shares one or more walls with adjacent homes. Rowhouses are typically narrow and tall, with two to four levels, and often have a basement level. They are commonly found in urban areas and were first built in the early 19th century to provide housing for growing populations in cities.

One of the defining characteristics of a rowhouse is that it is part of a row of similar homes that are built together, with the same style and materials used throughout. This creates a uniform appearance that is distinct from other types of homes.

What is a Townhouse?

A townhouse is similar to a rowhouse in that it shares walls with adjacent homes, but there are some key differences. Townhouses are typically wider and shorter than rowhouses, with a more horizontal orientation. They often have a front and back yard, and may have a garage or off-street parking.

Townhouses are also typically part of a larger development, with multiple units built together in a planned community. They may have shared amenities such as a pool, clubhouse, or playground.

Appraising a Rowhouse vs. a Townhouse

When appraising a rowhouse or townhouse, it’s important to consider the differences between the two. One of the main factors is the location. Rowhouses are typically found in urban areas, while townhouses may be found in both urban and suburban areas.

Another factor to consider is the style and construction of the property. Rowhouses are often older and may have unique features such as exposed brick walls or original moldings. Townhouses, on the other hand, are often newer and may have more modern finishes and amenities.

It’s also important to consider the amenities and features of the surrounding community. Townhouses may have shared amenities such as a pool or clubhouse, while rowhouses may be located in a historic district or have unique views.

When appraising either type of property, it’s important to consider the comparable sales in the area. This includes looking at the sale prices of other rowhouses or townhouses in the same development or area, as well as other factors such as square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and condition of the property.

In conclusion, while rowhouses and townhouses share some similarities, they have distinct differences that should be taken into consideration when appraising them. Understanding these differences will help real estate appraisers provide accurate appraisals for these unique properties.