Comparing Townhouses and Condominiums

Comparing Townhouses and Condominiums

When comparing townhouses to condos the main point of difference is the general floor layout. While most condominiums resemble apartments with the living space on one floor, a townhouse is attached to one or more houses and are architecturally similar to row houses in that owners typically share one or more walls. Townhomes usually have multiple floors and can run the gamut from duplexes and triplexes to communities with hundreds of homes. Buyers separately own their homes and the land on which the houses sit. With a condominium, the unit owners jointly own the land and this common interest cannot be separated from the others. However, townhouses can be structured in many ways. Some, particularly large communities, have common areas - such as swimming pools - that are similar to condominiums.

Homeowner Association (HOA) fees          

HOA fees for condominium associations tend to be higher than HOA fees for townhouses because they pay for building and exterior upkeep, day-to-day maintenance of buildings, lawn care, snow removal and trash service. Townhome owners tend to have more control over decorating their living spaces and are responsible for their homes upkeep, so fees tend to be less. Certain types of maintenance and trash removal are handled by the HOA depending how it is set up.

The Pros and Cons of Owning a Townhouse

On the plus side of townhouse ownership, exterior maintenance and repairs are minimal, there are no neighbors above or below the home like in an apartment, and because the homes are attached, they may offer a greater sense of security. As for the disadvantages, if there is a homeowner's association, buyers will be required to pay a homeowner's fee. Townhouses also offer less privacy than with a detached single-family home, yet more privacy than a condo.

As you're shopping around for a condominium or townhouse, keep these differences in mind.

Need help finding your next condo or townhouse? Contact a local CBHB agent today who will help you navigate the market and the intricacies involved when purchasing either type of home.

Related:
Condos: a popular alternative to owning a single-family home
Tips for Selecting the Best Condo - with a list of current condo listings