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Townhouse vs. Villa: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 9, 2023
A townhouse is a multi-floor home sharing walls with other units, whereas a villa is typically a detached, luxurious residence, often in a scenic or suburban setting.

Key Differences

Townhouses are characterized by their multi-level design and shared walls with adjacent homes. They often have a uniform look, reflecting the architectural style of the development. Villas, on the other hand, are usually single-family, detached homes, offering more privacy and often featuring unique architectural designs.
Townhouses are commonly found in urban or suburban areas, designed to maximize space in densely populated regions. Villas are typically situated in more spacious, sometimes rural or resort settings, offering a sense of retreat and often scenic views.
A townhouse generally offers less square footage than a villa, with a compact and efficient layout. Villas, in contrast, are known for their spaciousness, often including large gardens, pools, and extensive living areas.
Owning a townhouse often includes being part of a homeowners' association (HOA), which dictates certain rules and maintenance responsibilities. Villas, especially those in exclusive areas, might come with a sense of community but usually offer more autonomy in property management.
Townhouses can be luxurious, while villas are often synonymous with luxury, boasting high-end amenities, bespoke designs, and often, additional facilities like guest houses, private pools, and expansive outdoor spaces.

Comparison Chart


Multi-level, attached units.
Detached, often single-level.


Urban or suburban.
Scenic, suburban or rural.


Efficient, compact layout.
Spacious, with large gardens and areas.


Part of an HOA, shared responsibilities.
More autonomy, individual property management.


Can be luxurious, community-focused.
High-end, private amenities like pools.

Townhouse and Villa Definitions


Attached Residential Unit.
Living in a townhouse means sharing walls with neighbors on either side.


Spacious and Scenic.
Their villa boasts spacious rooms and stunning scenic views.


Urban Dwelling.
They chose a townhouse for its convenience to city life.


Detached Home.
The villa's detached layout offers complete privacy and space.


Multi-Level Home.
Their townhouse, spread over three floors, offers ample living space.


Luxurious Residence.
Their villa in the countryside is a luxurious retreat from city life.


Efficient Space Use.
The townhouse's design maximizes space in a compact footprint.


Historical or Resort Home.
The ancient Roman villa has been restored to its original glory.


Part of a Complex.
Their townhouse is part of a larger, managed complex with shared amenities.


Recreational Residence.
The family's summer villa by the lake is perfect for vacations.


A row house, especially one designed as a single-family residence.


Chiefly British A house in a middle-class suburb.


A residence in a city, especially in contrast to a residence in the country.


The often large, luxurious country house of a well-to-do person.


A row house or terraced house.


A country estate with a substantial house.


A house in an urban setting.


(plural "villas") A house, often larger and more expensive than average, in the countryside or on the coast, often used as a retreat.


(dated) A town hall.


A family house, often semi-detached, in a middle class street.


A building devoted to the public used of a town; a townhall.


A country house, with farm buildings around a courtyard.


A country seat; a country or suburban residence of some pretensions to elegance.


Mexican revolutionary leader (1877-1923)


Detached or semi-detached suburban house


Country house in ancient Rome consisting of residential quarters and farm buildings around a courtyard


Pretentious and luxurious country residence with extensive grounds


What is a villa?

A villa is a luxurious, often detached residence, typically situated in scenic or suburban areas.

Can a townhouse be in a rural setting?

While less common, some townhouses are in suburban or semi-rural settings.

Are townhouses part of larger complexes?

Yes, townhouses are often part of a complex with shared amenities and HOA rules.

Do villas offer privacy?

Yes, villas typically provide more privacy and space than townhouses.

What defines a townhouse?

A townhouse is a multi-level home, typically sharing walls with adjacent units.

Can villas be historic properties?

Many villas are historic, offering unique architectural and cultural value.

Are townhouses more affordable than villas?

Generally, townhouses are more affordable than villas, especially in urban areas.

Do townhouses have individual gardens?

Townhouses may have small private gardens or shared communal spaces.

Is a villa a good option for a vacation home?

Yes, villas are popular choices for vacation homes due to their amenities and settings.

Can villas be part of a gated community?

Yes, many villas are located within exclusive, gated communities.

Is a villa suitable for large families?

Villas, with their spacious layouts, are often well-suited for large families.

Do villas come with additional facilities?

Villas often feature extra facilities like swimming pools and large gardens.

Do townhouses have shared amenities?

Yes, townhouses often share amenities like gyms, pools, or parks.

What makes a villa's location desirable?

Villas are often valued for scenic views, tranquility, and spacious settings.

Are villas customizable?

Villas often offer more scope for customization and personalization.

Are villas always luxurious?

Villas are generally associated with luxury, though styles and amenities vary.

Do townhouses require maintenance?

Maintenance is often managed by the HOA in townhouse communities.

Are townhouses a good option for city living?

Townhouses are ideal for those seeking a balance between urban living and a home feel.

Do townhouses come with parking facilities?

Most townhouses include designated parking spaces or garages.

Can townhouses have multiple floors?

Yes, townhouses typically have two or more floors.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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