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Both townhomes and apartments are great for downsizing from a house. However, there are some key differences and similarities between the two to consider when looking for an apartment or townhome near the University of Central Florida.
Normally, there is a significant difference in range of costs between apartments and townhomes, with townhomes being on the more expensive side. Because Orlando is such a diverse area, the costs of a townhouse and a 1 bedroom apartment could be pretty close. In Orlando and near UCF, both apartments and townhomes in Orlando could vary in price as much as $500 per month. This, of course, depends on the size of each, the area of town, the qualifications to live there, and sometimes the amenities provided. Overall, I would suggest starting your search with an idea in your mind of how much you're willing to spend based on what kind of space, amenities, and proximity to campus and go from there. An important difference between renting apartments and townhomes is that townhomes often have opportunities for potential ownership, while apartments near UCF are strictly for renters.
Townhomes are generally the more spacious of the two. Although apartments near the University of Central Florida can range from a studio to 4 bedrooms, townhomes often have more square footage and multiple levels. As a parent moving to the area around UCF to be closer to your student, you would want to have more than one bedroom for when your student decides to come visit you or for any guests you may want to entertain. In a townhome these rooms can be separated by floors to create more space. Another special element to consider is yard space. If you are used to having a front or back yard, you would likely be more interested in a townhome, as they are more likely to have yard space. Apartments normally do not include much area outside of for the renter's use.
The great thing about downsizing from owning a house to renting is low levels of responsibility for maintenance. Of course the renter/owner is responsible for daily upkeep, however, larger maintenance issues are handled by the property owners or leasing office. Unlike owning a home, when things malfunction or break, you are not left shelling out thousands upon thousands of dollars on repairs. Instead, you can make a phone call and have someone come out for repairs. Some apartments and townhomes may charge a maintenance fee, but it won't be nearly as much as it might have been in a house that you are 100% responsible for. It's important to note that some townhomes do leave yard maintenance up to the tenant, so be sure to inquire about that upfront.
Hopefully the above information helps in your decision to relocate to an apartment or townhouse near the University of Central Florida. For more information on the advantages of townhouses, check out this article by How Stuff Works. Happy Renting!