Buying a home is one of the biggest life decisions one can ever make and when choosing between a condo and a townhouse, it’s easy to get confused. Before deciding which type of housing to own, you’ll want to learn the differences between a condo and a townhouse.
What is a Condo?
A condo or condominium is a single residential unit within a larger structure that can be bought rather than rented. While they vary from one location to the next, condos often have several units either below or above them. However, each condo is owned by different people within the same building.
What is a Townhouse?
A townhouse is an upgrade from the condo but smaller than a single-family home. Townhouses are characterized by two or three stories, with options of patios or small yards. A unique aspect is that while a townhouse has no buildings on top or below it, it shares a wall with the next property.
5 Differences Between Condos and Townhouses
On the surface, condos and townhouses are practically the same. But when you consider their basic features, they actually have several characteristics that make a huge difference to owners.
Owners of condos are only responsible for maintenance within their own individual units. However, townhouse owners are responsible for the environment surrounding their buildings, like the yard. So owning a condo is cheaper than a townhouse when you consider the cost of maintenance.
Condos often have more amenities available to residents than townhouses. While levels of amenities vary across communities, condo residents enjoy better facilities, including pools and gyms. Still, townhouses will occasionally offer their own amenities like playgrounds and pools that residents can share.
Townhouses offer more privacy than condos since owners only share walls with neighbors on each side. In condos, residents share walls both above and below. An added advantage with townhouses is that they usually include a private yard or patio. Here, residents have extra room for play or relaxation.
In purchase costs, condos are cheaper than townhouses since owners don’t invest in the land. However, when you consider House Owner Association (HOA) prices, townhouses can be cheaper since they have fewer jointly-owned spaces. HOA and maintenance fees are typically higher for condos.
5. Rules and Regulations
The governing rules for condos are often more strict compared to townhouses since HOAs are more involved. Condo owners might have less freedom to design their properties to match their style. But a plus side to these regulations is that maintenance is usually efficient when an HOA is responsible. With townhouses, HOA rules can also extend to noise and activities done on the land.
While condos and townhouses vary from one state, community, or property to the next, deciding between the two options requires careful consideration of pros and cons. In the end, moving to a condo or townhouse really just depends on what moves you.