Hey there, Nosy Nellie, have we got a townhouse benefit for you! The units are close, and the parking areas are often shared, so you can sit by the window and watch everyone come and go all day and all night. There's another way to save money: Watch the neighbors instead of TV. You can ditch the cable bill.
The truth is, a bit of Nosy Nellie-ish behavior does benefit the neighborhood. Being part of a townhouse community means neighbors are more likely to know one another and therefore know if someone new is creeping about with a black eye mask and a canvas bag slung over his shoulder. If Nosy Nellie knows her neighbors are out of the house, she'll be more suspicious of noises next door when she puts the empty glass between the wall and her ear.
Also, according to Joan Rogers the real estate agent, "many developments have rental caps as far as how many units can be rented out at a time," say ten out of the fifty in the development. Owners have a stake in the development; renters, not so much. With less turnover, the neighborhood is more stable and Nosy Nellie knows who to smile at and who to give the ol' stink eye. And if there's more stink eye than smiling, there's always the HOA to appeal to about the renters.