Did you know that 5.6 million people in the United States bought homes last year? The home buying process is a stressful experience with an overwhelming amount of new terms and paperwork.
A good starting place is by finding which type of home works best for you. Two very popular options on the market today are the condominium vs. townhouse. Both of these housing options make a great home but there are key differences when comparing a condo vs. townhouse.
But what is the condominium vs. townhouse difference? What is a condo? And what is a townhouse? Continue reading this article to learn more about condominiums and townhouses to figure out which is the perfect fit for you.
What Is a Condo?
A condo is a single-residential unit or home that is housed within a larger building. The layout of a condominium differs depending on the building that it is in. There are usually multiple floorplans to choose from within a single building.
It is important to know that with a condo you might have neighbors above, below, and next to you. Condominiums come in all different shapes and sizes, and all different locations. There are luxury condos in urban areas and residential condos in suburban areas.
If you look around you can find some great rental properties just about everywhere you want to go.
Condos make a great investment for someone who wants to manage a property, like those with a CAM license.
What Is a Townhouse?
A townhouse is a nice hybrid of a single-family home and a condo.
A typical townhouse is two or three stories tall and tends to share walls with neighboring homes. A benefit of a townhouse is that you don’t have neighbors above or below you. Townhouses make for a very popular option for first-time home buyers.
Condominium vs. Townhouse: The Difference
While you’re now aware of the architectural differences between condominiums and townhouses. Here some other differences that will affect your experience as well as your bank account.
1. Different Types of Ownership
A big difference when it comes to condominiums and townhouses is the maintenance that comes with them. When you purchase a condominium you are only responsible for the maintenance of the inside of the unit.
You’ll pay homeowners’ association dues that will go towards the maintenance and general upkeep of the outside of the condominium. It will also go towards common property and amenities.
With townhouses, you’ll be looking at two different types of ownership. The first is called fee simple ownership. With this type of ownership, you are responsible for the maintenance of the interior as well as the exterior and yard.
The other type of ownership is condominium ownership. It has the owner responsible for the interior of the townhouse. The exterior and the yard is maintained and taken care of through homeowners’ association dues.
2. The Amenities
Another big difference when it comes to a condo vs. townhouse is the amenities you’re provided.
While the amenities vary from one condominium building to the next, in general, condominiums provide some great amenities. Condos usually have gyms and pools that the residents share.
The typical townhouse doesn’t come with quite the same level of amenities. Newer townhouse developments offer similar amenities to what condos offer to their residents. Newer townhouse developments offer playgrounds, clubhouses, and pools.
There is also a difference in the level of privacy that you’ll have depending on if you choose a townhouse or a condo. Owners of both condos and townhouses have less privacy than people living in single-family homes.
This decrease in privacy comes with the trade-off of less maintenance that is required for your home. With that said, a townhouse provides more privacy than a condo does.
If you’re worried about noisy neighbors or you want to ensure that your kids have a yard to play in, then a townhouse is a better fit for your needs. You’ll only have neighbors on the side of you, and it’s possible you’ll have a yard for your kids and pets to enjoy.
4. Homeowners Association Fees
A general rule of thumb when it comes to condominium vs. townhouse differences is the homeowners association fees are lower with townhouses.
This is because townhouses require less maintenance than condominiums and they also have fewer amenities. This is only true if you don’t have fee simple ownership. If you’re required to handle all maintenance for your townhouse then a condo’s fees are cheaper.
5. The Rules and Regulations
When it comes to the rules and regulations, condos tend to be more strict than townhouses.
Condos are more strict in large part because the homeowners’ association plays a big role. There are pros and cons that come with having more rules.
If you value having freedom of expression when it comes to your property’s landscaping and its appearance then a condominium might not be the best choice for you.
If you like a more uniform appearance, then a condominium is going to be right up your alley. The rules have the added benefit of providing assigned parking spots and providing maintenance efficiently when it is needed.
That convenience comes at the cost of your freedom to decorate and style your home to your preference. If you prefer freedom then you’ll be much happier investing in and moving to a townhouse rather than a condo.
Get Your New Home Today
When you’re trying to choose between a condominium vs. townhouse, there are important considerations that need to be made. Do you prefer privacy and fewer neighbors? Do you want a yard to play in? A townhouse is a good fit for you.
If you’d rather have more amenities and assigned parking spots then a condominium is a great fit for you and your family. You should also note the homeowners’ association fees associated with a condo before choosing to invest.
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