A few days ago, there was a nice discussion on buyers remorse that millennial first time home buyers are feeling in this market. I happen to be one myself and I shared my 2 cents here.
After making that post I have thought about the following point for the past few days: Maybe the problem is too many of us have this preconceived notion that SFH are a vastly superior choice for most buyers. Prior to owning my home I rented a townhouse for a year and have concluded that I was actually a lot happier in my townhouse for the reasons mentioned in the the thread, namely less outdoor maintenance responsibilities and location (at least in my case). Now, I am not going to say SFH’s are completely overrated, I think they are still a good end-goal for people with kids who enjoy being outside. But I am seeing a lot of people in my millennial demographic (which is a lot less likely to have kids) also being unnecessarily pushed towards SFH ownership when a townhouse would serve them just as well if not better. My ideal would still be a SFH if it was a smaller structure with a decently large xeriscaped yard, but those are quite hard to find in my area. In fact, I have recently had a strong desire to sell my SFH and “downgrade” to a townhouse once I have lived here for two years and am able to avoid the long-term capital gains tax. In previous discussions of this subject on this sub I have seen an overwhelming sentiment against townhouses, but now that buyer fatigue has reached all-time highs and affordability has reached all-time lows for the SFH market, I am wondering if people are having second thoughts about this conventional wisdom like I am?
And before people ask:
“Why don’t you just rent?” Because I want to be able to build equity, and though living in a townhouse still means you have to follow some HOA rules, renting also means I have to follow my landlord’s rules which are usually more restrictive, especially for people who want to have pets. “You sound like someone who is just too lazy to mow their lawn, so why don’t you ask a high-school kid in the neighborhood to do it for you?” Because taking care of my own lawn has been far more work than just mowing, there is also edge trimming, pest/weed control, fertilizing, and irrigation which are all surprisingly expensive, time consuming, and quite bad for the environment.