Pros and Cons to Living in a Rowhouse

Rowhouses are more common in Washington DC, Alexandria and Marilyn then just about any other place in the US. Because of this, we have a lot of clients asking us if a house is a benefit to the resident or a detriment. There are pros and cons to just about any type of living situation so we wanted to address a few of them here.

Pros and Cons to Living in a Rowhouse

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of living in a townhouse or a rowhouse.


Your house never goes out of style.

Rowhouses have been around for decades and it never really goes out of style. A single-family home may need to be repainted from time to time or changed completely as that 1970s retro look will eventually go out of style. But, a rowhouse is one style that usually never goes away, especially if it’s a traditional brick style rowhouse that you see a lot in the DC area.

Homes are practical and laid out well.

Most rowhouses are two or three stories minimum and they are an excellent use of practical space. They can be economical and much less expensive because you’re really not paying for two exterior walls. They are not only spacious but economical.

Benefits of community living.

Just as with a condominium complex or apartment building, rowhouse living can give you that sense of community. Most neighbors are from the same societal standard as yourself, which means lifestyles, habits, and hobbies could match a lot of your own. This is a great way for kids to meet other kids in the neighborhood and have a good sense of a tight-knit neighborhood.

You may not miss the privacy.

Contrary to popular belief, rowhouses actually have as much privacy as a single-family home. In apartments or even condominiums, it’s almost impossible to ignore your neighbors, but in rowhouses, you can definitely have your privacy and even fences from one backyard to another.

Some maintenance may be part of the package.

Because of these associations, many of the grounds maintenance or even some of the building maintenance is completely covered by the Association. These usually don’t cover interior issues such as a water heater leak or appliance repair, but some of the common area features can be covered by your HOA dues.

Close to amenities.

Many rowhouses are built close to shops, caf├ęs or markets and even vice versa. Having a rowhouse means there are many people that will need easy access to the daily necessities of life, and this could be a great thing if you want to be within a couple of blocks of your nearest Starbucks.


HOA Fees

As with any close community, gated neighborhood, or condo complex you will have homeowner association fees. These are the common fees that will take care of common walls, roofs, and other shared amenities. They may or may not be expensive. It will depend on how many amenities of the community requires.


You may have pet restrictions.

Depending on the rules set forth by the Association you may have certain pet restrictions. You may or may not be able to bring any or all pets along. It’s important to understand the rules and regulations when it comes to your four-legged family members before moving in.

Less freedom of expression.

If you are extremely creative you may find that living in a rowhouse can stifle that creativity somewhat. You usually cannot paint the outside of the house and you might not be able to do everything you want in the backyard as well if there even is one.

If you ‘d like more info on rowhouses in Northern Virginia, DC, or Maryland, check out our website, call us for personal service or sign up for notifications on any homes that hit the market.

ImageBy AgnosticPreachersKid (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

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