Condominiums vs Townhouse
Buying or renting a home is a major decision for many people. The goal is usually to find a property that meets your preferences and is within your budget or financial capacity. While this seems to be simple enough, it's a tad bit complicated in reality.
So, it's also advisable that you take your time when looking for a house to ensure you find one that ticks all the boxes. When you find the right home and eventually close the deal, start packing at least 3 weeks before your anticipated move date. A moving service can make things a lot easier for you.
As far as residential properties are concerned, they come in different types. From apartments, single-family homes, bungalows, duplexes, condominiums, townhouses, cottages, and so on. For many people in urban areas, especially first-time owners, condominiums and townhouses represent convenient and affordable options. Comparing two common types of homes, their pros, and cons.
What Is A Condominium?
Condominiums, simply referred to as condos, are housing complexes with separate units with each unit owned by an individual. Think of a condo as an apartment in a building but unlike an apartment where everyone rents the unit from a landlord, each unit in a condo is generally privately owned. So, you either buy a condo unit or rent it from the owner of that unit.
As a condo owner, you are typically only responsible for the interior of your unit. Shared common areas like elevators, garages, pools, and gyms are jointly owned by all condo owners, all of which are required to pay regular fees to a condo association for maintenance and repair of all shared areas and amenities. These common amenities are generally the reason why everyone pays a fee for the upkeep of such areas.
Pros and Cons
The major benefit of condos is their ease of not having to cut the grass and amenities that can be cheaper to use as you share the overall cost. Whereas for instance if the same amenity was at a single family home, it could be more expensive. Condos represent affordable housing options in these situations.
Depending on your condo complex, you may enjoy shared facilities like a pool, gym, and parking garages without having to worry about maintenance. The same also applies to other shared exterior spaces. You are only responsible for the interior of your unit.
The major drawback of condos is the reduced privacy as units share common areas and walls. Lack of private outdoor space may also be a drawback for some people. Check the fees and rules of the condo association before buying or renting a unit to ensure you are okay with them.
What Is A Townhouse?
A townhouse, also called a townhome, is essentially a single-family home that shares a wall with another single-family home. Townhouses usually have two to three floors and each unit is privately owned. Note that single family homes that are close to each other aren't necessarily townhouses. Generally townhouses share a wall or are attached, whereas a number of single-style family homes are generally not attached to another home.
Pros and Cons
Townhomes have benefits that can make it more affordable such as common areas, as compared to single-family home units in the same area, even if the two have similar sizes. Maintenance could potentially be less since you may share common area expenses, even more so if there's a Homeowner association (HOA) to take care of exterior maintenance. However, if units in association stop paying fees, then assessments and fees could rise.
Depending on the complex, townhouses may have shared facilities like a pool and gym. There is usually also a small amount of outdoor space and in some cases, a private parking space.
Major drawbacks include HOA fees and restrictions, possibility of noise pollution due to close proximity with neighbors, and multi-floor design which may not be ideal for seniors.
Going Head to Head: Condo Vs Townhouse
Before diving into the differences between condos and townhouses, let's first take a look at what the two have in common.
- A condo or townhome will usually be connected to another unit.
- HOA or Condo Association might be not not always be in charge of maintenance and repair of shared facilities and common areas.
- Both condos and townhouses are usually individually owned.
- Townhouses are considered Planned Unit Developments and may be at times more common for the owner to be responsible for the exterior of the home.
- Condos associations usually are responsible for the exterior of the building, which can be the opposite of a townhome
Differences Between Condos and Townhouses:
Living in a townhome is somewhat similar to living in a single-family unit though you'll be sharing a wall with another townhome unit. On the other hand, a condo feels similar to living in an apartment. Depending on your complex, you may have neighbors on all sides.
So, the living experience in a condo and townhome are completely different and you should put this into consideration when looking for a unit to rent or buy.
Generally due to the shared common costs of condos compared to townhomes, condos that are in condo associations might be lower in overall upkeep, but you might need a gym, or basketball court, however you are paying for this. Perhaps a HOA townhouse you may be able to get away with just either lawn care, or upkeep of a gatehouse. If the HOA fees of condos are higher than those of townhouses, or vice versa, consider both listing prices and fees when comparing costs of condos and townhouses.
Condos tend to have more amenities than townhomes, depending on your condo or townhome complex, you may have access to a gym, pool, rooftop recreation center, and even dining options.
Townhomes might have more privacy and outdoor space as units are beside each other and not below or on top of another unit. As a result, you may have your own lawn or even personal garage depending on your complex. This also provides the opportunity of using the outdoor space for things like barbecue or hosting a party in the back deck.
Townhomes only have neighbors on either side while condos may have neighbors on all sides. As a result, you are bound to enjoy more privacy in a townhome compared to a condo. However, your neighbors and HOA regulations also matter, make sure to get a copy of this asap.
The winner is the one that suits your preferences. If you want a home without generally having to worry about exterior maintenance or maintaining an entire home, condos may be more appropriate for you. If you'd like a unit with more responsibilities, potentially more room and privacy for your pets or kids to play in, a townhome may offer what you are looking for.
Ultimately, these are generally statements as condos and townhomes vary greatly from complex to complex. In the end, it's about which housing style meets your preferences while still fitting in your budget. Happy house hunting and connect with MortgageQuote to see if you qualify for a mortgage.