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Attached vs Detached Home: Which is right for you?

For many prospective home buyers in Chicagoland, the question arises of the pros and cons of an attached vs detached home. We interviewed realtor Jena Mancione, and dove deep into some price point research on Trulia, to get you the most important points of comparison.

Attached vs detached home price points

One of the biggest differences in attached vs detached homes is the price point. Price is particularly important when considering townhouse pros and cons. As of the publishing of this article in May 2019, using , we’ve summarized price points for a circumference of Chicago suburbs. In general, we found the below most common sizes, and used a few exceptions depending on what each city had available.

  • 2 bedroom/2 bath for condominiums
  • 3 bedroom/2-3 bath for townhouses
  • 4 bedrooms/3 bath from single-family homes
Orland Park

At time of publishing, 37 of the 63 two-bedroom homes available were condos. Average condo price was in the mid- to upper-$100,000s, with an exception here and there. Overall, the average price for an Orland Park two-bedroom home was $267,718. 17 of the 63 were townhomes.

There were 78 three-bedroom homes, average $280, 420. 51 of these were detached, with only 18 townhomes. The detached homes were most often priced at $350,000 or less.

Orland Park had 108 four-bedroom homes available, and, as expected, most were detached homes. With three bathrooms, the price of these homes vary widely, but seem to average in the upper $300,000s.

Naperville

As of May 2019, you can generally expect to pay $135,000 for a 1,000 square-foot condo in Naperville. Two-bedroom homes here average $193,687. Of 117 two-bedroom homes, only 18 were detached. 43 were condos, and most were townhouses. Two-bedroom townhouses seem to average in the upper $100,000s, while condos of this size come in around $150,000.

73 of the 188 three-bedroom homes for sale in Naperville were attached. Townhomes seem to averaged around $290,000 for 1,900 square feet. Houses of this size averaged in the upper $300,000s.

Four-bedroom homes are almost all detached in Naperville, with only a handful of townhomes and no condominiums. The average price for a four-bedroom home with less than five bathrooms was $451,428.

Des Plaines

I was surprised to see Des Plaines as more expensive than Naperville, but Naperville is vast and has a wide range of price points. There were no one-bedroom homes for sale in Des Plaines, attached or detached. Overall, the two-bedroom average was $213,527. 52 of the 79 were condos with two bedrooms. The average for 2bd/2b was closer to $200,000s. 10 of the 52 were detached, with 13 townhomes.

Des Plaines three-bedrooms average $269,354. Most of these were detached averaging around $300,000. 28 were townhomes averaging around $230,000.

There were only 44 four-bedroom homes, 41 of which were detached. The four-bedroom home average cost in Des Plaines was $327,409.

Gurnee

Gurnee had 35 two-bedroom homes available, eight of which were condos averaging in the lower $100,000s. 11 were townhomes, which were generally $130-150,000. 16 of the 35 were detached, generally in communities where every home looked the same within a handful of options. The houses ranged from $300-363,000 for this size.

There were 27 three-bedroom homes in Gurnee, six of which were townhomes. Two bathrooms were most common at this size, with townhomes and detached homes both in a similar price range of the low $200,000s.

Four-bedroom houses in Gurnee averaged in the low $300,000s for anything not brand new or pre-construction. 78 of the 79 homes for sale at this size were detached.

Northbrook

Northbrook is by far the most pricey among the suburbs we looked at. There were 65 two-bedroom homes available, with an average price of $556,000. 51 of these were condos that had a large range of prices, with an average seeming to land in the mid-$200,000s. Houses of this size were about $400,000 if they only had two baths. Some two-bedroom properties in the Mission Hills community were quite pricey, bringing the overall average up.

The 126 available three-bedroom homes averaged $601,181 for listing price. The 29 townhomes of this size ranged quite a lot in price, averaging around $450,000. 75 were detached. Surprisingly, 3bd/2b houses had many options below $400,000.

Four bedrooms in Northbrook averaged $616,492. 118 of 132 were houses. A detached home with three bathrooms averaged $600,000, with the few townhomes at 3bd/3b+ averaging $441,000.

Maintenance

What kind of homeowner lifestyle are you looking for? Owning a home is a lot of responsibility, and with maintenance comes expense. But, in an attached home, you are only responsible for the maintenance of structures that belong to your space alone. Maintenance of shared walls, plumbing, and roofs are the responsibility of your condo or townhome association. That is a major part of what your association fee goes towards. Further, in Illinois, snow removal is an inevitable inconvenience. But in an attached home with an association, this task is typically taken care of for you. The downside is that you don’t have control over when the snow is plowed if you aren’t doing it yourself. You’ll have to wait for your plow company to get through the queue of customers before you. Lawn care is yet another responsibility you won’t need to worry about in most attached home associations.

Community and amenities

Another common difference in attached vs detached homes is amenities. Many condo communities have a space you can rent for parties, walking paths or ponds, a fitness room, and often a pool and tennis courts. Less often do townhome communities have this, but they are even more rare in single-family home neighborhoods. Such amenities can foster social experiences, and can be fun for young or single homeowners.

Yards and freedom

Attached homes have more rules and regulations than detached homes. When you are living in close proximity with, other homeowners or renters, rules and regulations go a long way to keep the peace. But those rules will also limit or prohibit things you may like to do. To renovate in an attached-home community, for example, you’ll likely need to get approval of your association. Consider this among townhouse pros and cons, as you might find this type of home is the perfect balance between regulations and freedom.

Yard space is also quite limited with attached homes. You may not be on the ground floor, and even if you are, you may only have a small outdoor space to call your own. In the heart of Chicago, this may be a worthwhile trade-off, but some homeowners in the suburbs really want/expect a yard. Not all detached homes have a great yard either, but almost always it will be larger than with a townhouse or condo. The only restrictions in single-family communities, typically, are that you’ll need a permit for large in-yard structures, and possibly fence rules to ensure consistency with neighbors.

Original photo from Max Pixel

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