WHATS UP WITH CONDOS AND TOWN HOMES?
Searching for a property WITHOUT outside care and maintenance? What is the difference between condominiums and townhomes?
Condominiums and townhouses are in urban areas, rural areas and suburbs and can be one story or multiple stories. The biggest difference between the two is ownership and fees, what you own and how much you pay for it.
A condominium is similar to an apartment in that it is an individual unit in a building or community of buildings with elevator or stairway access to the unit. Unlike an apartment, a condominium is resident owned and shares joint ownership with the other tenants of the building. This joint ownership includes not just the building structure itself but the common areas such as a gym, pool and grounds. Utilities could be included in the purchase but it is not a guarantee. Parking, with or without covered garage space, is usually underground or on ground level.
What makes a Town Home a Town Home?
A townhouse is usually a ground level home owned by the resident and may or may not have a garage attached. Typically, only one or more walls are shared with an adjacent townhome, giving more privacy than the apartment style condominium. Building completely detached townhomes that include outside and general grounds maintenance has also become a new trend. Townhouse ownership is similar to ownership of a detached single family home which includes the land surrounding it. Owning the land is not a guarantee, however, so it is best to ask about the ownership rights before the purchase.
Typically, both condominiums and townhouses include membership in an HOA (Homeowners Association) which handles the day-to-day maintenance of shared spaces and establishes rules for governing the association. Rules can address subleasing, pets, noise and what you can do with your land if you own a townhouse. It is always important to check the HOA fees and requirements as these can vary widely. Condominiums tend to be less expensive than townhouses but the HOA fees also tend to be higher since there are usually more jointly owned spaces.
Making the decision to purchase a condominium or a townhouse can be confusing. Reach out to your PCA Agent to help you navigate the purchase process!