New Brighton is a suburb that doesn't have a lot of townhouses and condos. It's not like "other" suburbs where townhomes and condos seem to be everywhere. While it does make finding one a bit harder, it often means higher resale values down the road because usually there aren't 100+ identical units for sale at any one time.
Even if it's not cheaper on a monthly basis to own vs rent, when one factors in the tax advantages of home ownership, it usually makes more sense. However, it's a good idea to have an experienced agent guide and advise you. While it's fairly easy to simply buy a townhome, there are also some pitfalls that a good agent can help with. For starters, when you purchase a townhome or condo, you more or less become a financial partner in the association. That's not normally a problem, but...when an association hasn't been managed well or is in poor financial shape, it can be problematic.
I'd be happy to help you locate a place that's right for you and your budget, without pressure, and at virtually no cost to you. I'm familiar with the area and the St. Anthony-New Brighton school district (if that matters), seems to have a great reputation....well...OK...my wife works as a teacher there. :-)
Contact me if I can help in any way.