“Three Bedrooms NOT on One Level”

Every once in awhile, you see a single family home being touted by the listing agent as a “townhome alternative.”

What do they mean?


At least to this Twin Cities Realtor, it’s shorthand for a detached home with many of the following attributes:

–Around 2,000 to 2,500 square feet;
–Little or no yard;
–Little or no exterior maintenance;
–Floor plan with Bedrooms on different floors — sometimes even two floors apart (upper level and basement);
–Generous Owner’s Suite that’s nicely updated;
–Main Floor (or upper floor) Laundry vs. in basement.

Not Just Baby Boomers

In the Twin Cities, many townhome Buyers are downsizing from a larger single family home, and want less of the hassle of home ownership while still enjoying some of the benefits.

Most common “wish list”: ¬†privacy (no common walls); ability to have pets (small yard, no Association rules forbidding); and a small garden (yard, again).

Such Buyers typically either have older kids happy to be in a basement bedroom, or, are empty nesters who’ll use extra space in the lower level for a Home Office, Exercise Room, and/or guests.

Of course, townhomes increasingly appeal to Buyers who are “pre-kids” or “no kids” rather than “post-kids.”

P.S.: ¬†Once upon a time, townhomes were laid out horizontally (easier on Baby Boomers’ aging knees, backs, etc.).

Now, new townhomes are usually built with vertical floor plans that accommodate tuck-under garages — no doubt a nod to more expensive land (and developers’ profit margins), as well as younger townhome Buyers.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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