Townhouse Styles, Part 1 – Detached and Quad/4 Corners

If you are considering buying a townhouse you may have already considered the differences between a condo vs townhome vs house. When you own a townhouse you share common grounds but own a slice from the ground to the sky. Most townhouses have at least one shared wall, but you never have someone living above or below you.

Our Twin Cities MLS divides townhouses into three different styles… detached, quad/4 corners and side by side. I looked at all currently active townhouse listings in Hennepin County to do a comparison of the three styles.



Detached townhomes are the most similar to a house of the three types, and have the largest average size (2,225 sq ft) and highest average price ($310,769) of the three townhouse styles. People tend to like them because it is the only townhouse style with no shared walls, giving more sound privacy and space for more windows and more light.

They do share grounds, however, and in some complexes the units are placed so close to each other that it feels like you could reach out and touch your neighbor…or easily see into each others windows. If this is of concern to you, check out GoogleEarth to get aerial views that can tell you a lot about the sense of place of a complex. Where the unit is located in the complex can also make a big difference in views, space and sense of place.


Current active listings range from $139,000 for a 1981 split entry style detached townhome with 1,425 finished square feet to a one-of-a-kind luxury detached townhome priced at $1,295,000 on an end lot with about 1/4 acre and 4,628 finished square feet.

Only 5.8% of current Hennepin County townhouse listings are detached townhomes. None of them were built before 1971, and more than half have been built since 2000.


Quad/4 corners townhomes were especially popular in the 1970s and 1980s, with nearly 3/4 of current active inventory built in those two decades.


Quad/4 corners pretty clearly describes the style. If you 'cut' the building into quarters, each corner would be one unit. What is nice about this style is each unit has two exterior walls on the corner…usually the location of the living and dining areas. They also often have a fair amount of green space around the buildings, giving each unit its own private corner and a feeling more like a house than many townhome styles.

Units built in the 1970s and 1980s were usually split entry style, and feel much like the split entry houses also popular at that time. Newer quads are often one-story units with or without basements, some specifically designed for people over 50 years old. Double garages typically divide the units, giving a feeling of separation and great privacy for one-story units. Two-level styles usually have the bedrooms above the garages with a bedroom wall shared between units…not popular with some buyers.

Quad/4 corners units comprise 13.4% of current townhome listings, ranging from $29,900 for a 760 sq ft foreclosure unit built in 1972 to $699,900 for a 3,575 sq ft new construction unit.

Detached townhomes and quad/4 corners townhomes make up less than 20% of the townhome market, leaving side-by-side townhouses the most popular style by far. There are many variations on the style, enough to explore in a separate post to follow…Townhouse Styles – Part Two.

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results -


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I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.
4 Responses
  1. I love townhouses. I’d prefer townhouses better than a condo unit. It’s nice to have a garden and perhaps a bit of space to walk in outside. Also, no need for elevators. 😉

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