Townhomes at times are just as expensive as Single Family homes - not sure if that would be worth it.
The home owner association dues that you pay when you own condos and townhomes usually cover water, trash, upkeep of property - same expenses that you have with Single Family homes. Your realtor can help you make sure that they're not excessive and will not hamper your resale value.
Your goal should be to get into the property you can afford and feel comfortable making monthly payments. You need to start building equity for yourself, NOT for a landlord.
Your location is very important in answering this question with any validity. Being a first time home buyer can be a daunting task. Where you live can limit your possibilities. The overall cost of a home is more than a mortgage - it includes, taxes, maintenance, insurance, etc.
But make no mistake - owning is much more desireable over renting. Your funds are being invested into the future. If you can afford to enter into a condo/townhouse and it suits your needs (size, bedrooms, yard) - why not?
The advantage of SFR over Condo/townhome can be significant - but if you do your homework, and buy in an area that is well kept - you can't go wrong buying now. My personal feeling is that this is the market made for you - the first time buyer.
I would love to assist you - but I don't know where you are; however, WHEREVER you are you have taken the right first step. Now do the right thing and contact a REALTOR you feel comfortable with and start your journey to being a homeowner.
Good Luck and my best to you in your endeavors!