Stacked Townhomes: An Increasingly Popular Homebuyer Option
Wednesday Jan 27th, 2021Share
Over the last several years, stacked townhomes have become an increasingly popular homebuyer option. This is in part to homebuilders trying to accommodate as many units on new land developments. As they say when referencing land, “they’re not building them anymore”. So essentially, developers in urban areas are “stacking” units on top of each other to create more units in condo townhouse complexes. Buyers of stacked townhomes tend to fall into two categories: first-time buyers and/or investors. For first-time buyers, the attraction is living in a space that has a community feel but not paying the same price as a freehold townhome. Square footage is slightly more than a typical condo as well. For investors, these units are easily rentable to urbanites who are looking for the same living space as the aforementioned first-time buyer.
An accurate description of a stacked townhome is a hybrid of a condominium and a townhome. The typical stacked townhome development features two bedroom units. There are usually single level units on the ground or lower level, “stacked” one over the other. Then there is a two level unit “stacked” on top of those units. To access the top unit means going up a flight of stairs. Each unit has its own private entrance.
In my experience working with buyers looking at stacked townhomes, the lower level (if below ground level) is the least desirable unit. Not quite like living in a basement, but the lack of sunlight is not appealing. I’ve even seen ground level units that are two level, with the living/dining/kitchen areas at ground level and the bedrooms at the lower level. Those units are also not appealing to buyers, having the bedrooms in what is basically the basement.
Another potential drawback for stacked townhomes is parking. Remember, these aren’t your typical townhomes where you have a garage and a driveway. Some stacked townhomes do, but quite a few don’t. For the owner, or renter, you may only have one surface parking spot. Not an ideal situation for winter months or you have a two car household.
Owners of stacked townhomes pay a monthly maintenance fee for garbage and snow removal. Similar to condo townhome developments, the municipality won’t enter the complex to remove garbage and snow. That job is contracted out and the owners pay the bill through the maintenance fee. The fee may also cover any landscaping in the common areas of the complex. Maintenance fees in well-managed complexes don’t tend to increase at the same pace as a condominium building.
A hugely popular feature to living in the upper level units is the rooftop terrace. Not all developments have this feature, but the ones that do allow for barbecues. This is a great entertaining space exclusively for occupants of that unit.
To view all MLS listed stacked townhomes, condo townhomes and more across the GTA click here.
Let’s look at several stacked townhomes in Scarborough, stacked townhomes in Mississauga and stacked townhomes in Etobicoke.
Property location: Markham/Sheppard area, in Scarborough, ON
Asking Price: $539,000
Sold Price: $581,500 in 12 days, Dec/2020
Monthly maintenance fee: $395
Square footage: 1000-1199
Year Built: 2017
Property location: Hwy 427/Burnamthorpe Rd. area, in Etobicoke, ON
Asking price: $599,988
Sold price: $615,000 in 12 days, Jan/2021
Monthly maintenance fee: $262
Square footage: 949
Year built: 2018
The bonus with this unit is also a rooftop terrace with views of the city.
Located in Etobicoke near the highway and shopping, all desirable amenities are within a short distance. This stacked townhome is an end unit, or some would refer to it as a corner unit, which allows for plenty of sunlight. Buyers usually pay a premium for such units. This unit is ideal for investors. Because of the nearby amenities and upgrades, a stacked townhome like this can fetch $2500/mth in rent.
Property location: Eglinton/Winston Churchill area, in Mississauga, ON
Asking price: $558,888
Sold price: $559,500 in 13 days, Nov/2020
Monthly maintenance fee: $267
Square footage: 800-899
Year built: 2007
This stacked townhome is located in the high demand area of Churchill Meadows in Mississauga. The unit is two levels with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Although the square footage is on the smaller side, it is very well laid out to accommodate a small family and/or professionals on the go.
Asking price: $599,000
Sold price: $580,000 in 4 days, Nov/2020
Monthly maintenance fee: $182
Square footage: 991
Year built: 2015
No driveway, just parking for one car in the garage located at the rear laneway of the home.
Asking price: $599,900
Sold price: $690,000 in 9 days, Dec/2020
Monthly maintenance fee: $279
Square footage: 1200-1399
Year built: 2015
Stairs leading to the entrance of the unit. Whoever lives here must be in good shape...there are plenty of stairs.
A rooftop patio off the loft level for entertaining and barbecuing.
Asking Price: $695,000
Sold price: $695,000 in 10 days, Jan/2021
Monthly maintenance fee: $360
Square footage: 900-999
Year built: 2015
Here is a tastefully decorated two bedroom, two bathroom stacked townhome on a single level with two underground parking spots (hence the higher monthly maintenance fee than the other unit in the same complex).
The unit is just above street level and has a balcony with a barbecue hookup.
These featured homes are examples of the varying types of stacked townhomes across the GTA. As you can see, the price points vary from the mid 500’s to the upper 600’s. There is a style of home for every lifestyle and taste.