When we bought our first home, we opted for a townhouse. The advantages are that it is less expensive than a conventional home, the front lawn and building are maintained by the HOA, community pool, clubhouse, and buliding insurance is part of the HOA.
The downsides are that I have to pay an HOA, I'm attached to my neighbors, there is a higher chance of owners renting out their units (my community is still mainly owner occupied), small yard, and they are harder to sell than a traditional home.
It really depends on your lifestyle. For our first home, it was a perfect transition from an apartment to a house. We never worried about mowing, or roof repair. But now that our family has grown, we want to move and are not going to get what we paid for it. We've even put in hardwood floors, upgraded the appliances, and fixed up the backyard, but will be happy to come out of pocket slightly for closing costs. Despite all of the disadvantages, we are really happy that we bought our townhouse. Our neighbors are great and the landscaping of the neighborhood is always so beautiful and the whole street is always nice. We never had to worry about that "one neighbor" who didn't mow or the kids that always left their junk in the yard. The neighborhood is always beautiful!
Good luck and I highly recomend that you have your agent show you a bunch of townhomes, condos, and single family homes before you buy. Once you find "the one" be sure to go there during the day, evening, night and over the weekend. We quickly learned that different times of days have different traffic patterns and you get a more complete feel for what type of neighbors you have. Your relator can't tell you if it is a "good" or "bad" area, you have to go and experience it to decide for yourself. Thnakfully, our first choice home fell through. We live nearby, but that neighborhood wouldn't have been one that I wanted my childern to grow up in. Hang out at different times to see if it is full of kids, or on a bus line which leads to lots of pedestrian traffic, and just make sure you are comfortable with the neighbors. Good luck!