A townhouse (also called a townhome) is a type of construction not a form of ownership. The legal structure for townhouses can be condominiums or single-family residences in a planned development. If they are legally defined as condominiums, the homeowner owns air space and the townhouse and the lot upon which it was built is owned in common. If the association is a planned development, the homeowner owns the townhouse and the lot upon which it is built.
Townhouse Construction. What makes a townhouse distinctive is its construction. Townhouses are individual residences attached to each other via a party wall, i.e., a row of homes sharing common walls. Townhouses have no neighbors above or below, only side-to-side. They are generally two or three stories tall.
Zero-Lot-Line Homes. A variation is the "zero-lot-line" single-family home. In a planned development with zero lot lines, houses can be placed on the property line. It creates a higher density of housing. Houses are not physically attached to each other. Instead, they are separated by a small space. They are sometimes referred to as "row houses," such as the ones on the left found in San Francisco.
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