Are you interested in purchasing a home, but you don’t think a single-family home is right for you? If so, you may be interested in purchasing a townhome or a condo. Before you start searching the market for available townhomes and condos, however, it is a good idea to gain a solid understanding of the similarities and differences between the two.
Townhouse Vs. Condo: Ownership
The primary difference between a condo and a townhouse is the form of ownership. With a condo, you own just the inside of the home. The exterior, the land and the common areas are all owned by an association. With a townhome, on the other hand, you own the outside as well as the inside. This means you own the land that the townhome sits upon.
Townhouse Vs. Condo: Maintenance
Since you only own the inside of a condo, you are only responsible for maintaining the inside. All outside maintenance, including care of the exterior of the building and lawn maintenance, are handled by the association. With a townhouse, on the other hand, you are responsible for caring for the outside as well.
Townhouse Vs. Condo: Amenities
Both condo and townhome communities may offer a number of amenities for residents to enjoy. Common amenities found in these communities include swimming pools, tennis courts and fitness facilities. Whether you are a part of a condo or a townhome community, these amenities will be shared by all residents within the community.
Townhouse Vs. Condo: Appearances
Traditionally, condos looked similar to apartment buildings while townhomes looked similar to a single-family home. Over time, however, these lines have been blurred. Today’s condos may look like a one-story villa or even a multi-level townhouse. Townhome-style condos are becoming increasingly popular among buyers because they have the look and feel of living in a townhome without the added responsibility of having to care for the exterior.
Townhouse Vs. Condo: Fees
Since the exterior of a condo is cared for by the association, condo owners have to pay a fee to the homeowner association to provide these services. Both condos and townhouses typically have common areas that are shared by residents. Therefore, both require homeowners to pay homeowner association fees to care for these areas. These fees are not included in your monthly house payment, so be sure you set aside enough money to cover these fees each month.
Since the fees only go toward maintenance of common areas with townhomes, the homeowners association fees associated with owning a townhome are typically less than the fees associated with owning a condo. On the other hand, since you only own the interior of a condo, homeowners insurance is typically less for a condo owner than it is for a townhouse owner.