With a single family home you pay all of the costs. If you buy a townhouse in a community, the HOA fee usually covers maintenance and buillding. You would just get insurance for the interior and contents. It really depends on where the single family home and townhouse are located (meaning if they are both in a deed restricted community with an HOA fee or not).
A deed restricted community is where the community has a homeowner association that has rules and regulations pertaining to the use of land and the look of the neighborhood. Usually it is initiated by the developer. Most deed restricted communities require a homeowner association fee to continue the upkeep of the community.
Each deed restricted community has different rules. Deed restrictions can include the size of home allowed on the lot, paint colors for the exterior of the home, as well as lawn maintenance, landscaping, and some even regulate tree-cutting. Some communities do not allow the storage of campers, trailers, or cars that don't run or vehicles with company names or logos on them. They can dictate what types of materials a fence can be made out of, or even not allow fences at all. Another restriction might be regarding pets. Some will only allow one pet or limit the breed and size of the pet. Building additional structures on the lot such as a shed or gazebo can also be restricted.
Some of the benefits of living in a deed restricted community are that amenities are often included. These can be anything from golfing, use of swimming pool, tennis courts, a fitness center, or even a club house. These amenities are owned by the members of the community and are common ground. Another benefit is that communities with deed restrictions maintain their value and are more desirable to potential buyers.
It is important to be aware of the deed restrictions on a property before making an offer. If you are thinking of buying a home in a deed restricted community, you will want to get a copy of the deed restrictions before you buy and read it over carefully. These can either be obtained from the seller or directly from the homeowner association.