Condo vs townhouse—what’s the difference? There are a lot of different terms flying around when talking about property management. It can be hard to distinguish between them all, but this guide will help you navigate two of the most confusing ones: townhomes versus condos.
They share a lot of similarities that separate them from typical properties, houses or apartments. However, there are also distinctive differences that can inform how to manage them.
What is a Townhome?
You’ve no doubt seen a townhome before, they are in nearly every big city across the globe. Especially when walking down New York City or London, you will notice houses that have seemingly been squished together. These are townhomes, lots of houses in a row.
By definition, townhomes are houses that share one or more walls with another house. Frequently, they are found in large cities. However, this is not always the case; they sometimes appear in more suburban areas. Wherever townhomes are, they are owned outright by the residents.
What is a Condo?
A condo is a little bit broader than a townhouse. Commonly, a condo is an apartment you own. Typically, the buildings and amenities are very similar, and some places even offer both apartments and condos to potential residents.
However, this isn’t always the case. Simply put, condos are individual, privately-owned units that are part of a larger community. This means that condos are very diverse and can refer to many living styles.
What remains consistent is the ownership of the units and the rights associated with living in a condominium. For more information on said rights visit NOLO.
Condo vs Townhouse
Condos and townhomes share a lot of similarities. Most strikingly, residents are not tenants and they do not have a landlord. This means residents have increased responsibility for maintenance, insurance, tax, etc. A more unique expense for the two compared to typical houses is an HOA fee.
HOA or Homeowner’s Association is consistent across most condos and townhomes. The HOA is almost like another tax. However, instead of going to the city, state, or federal government, it goes to the building owners to manage the property. Residents are often in charge of the HOA for a property. HOA fees are put towards amenities, maintaining the property, security, etc.
An important distinction between condos and townhomes comes with the HOA fees. Because condos tend to have many more shared spaces and many more amenities, the HOA fees tend to be higher than townhomes.
While both are very similar, townhomes and condos have distinctive differences. From how they’re built to the fees attached, it is important to be able to distinguish between the two whether you’re searching for a place to live or a place to manage.