Choosing a townhouse or condo over a regular single-family home has several benefits.
Townhouses and condos are usually less expensive to purchase and maintain than several single family homes.
But between a townhouse vs. condo, which is best for your needs? What are the main differences between a condo and townhouse? What are their advantages and disadvantages?
In this article, we’ll talk about the relevant differences along with pros and cons.
It’s easier to decide which property best suits your needs after reading through this post.
What is a townhouse?
A townhouse has more than one floor, usually two to three floors, that shares a wall or two with a neighbor.
Townhomes can look like single family homes. They have backyards, front yards, some even have their own pools, they also typically come with a garage.
They are a popular style in urban areas because they are designed to fit a lot of space into a small parcel of land.
They operate like condos; in that they usually have a homeowner’s association (HOA).
Fun Fact: Townhouses were originated in early England. Any house a family owned that was “in town” while living primarily in the country was referred to as a townhome.
What is a condo?
A condo, is a privately owned unit within a larger building of units. They are similar to an apartment building but the units are individually owned.
You can find condos primarily in urban areas, and they always have a homeowner’s association that manages the amenities, building, landscaping, etc.
Condo complexes usually have amenities that consist of pools, hot tubs, fitness center, tennis courts, a space to rent for parties, bbq areas, etc..
The individual owner is responsible for the interior of the unit.
Which one costs more?
Townhomes will cost more than a condo in regards to a purchase price.
Townhomes are like single family homes, in that they have a lot more space than a condo and have garage space and a backyard.
More space costs more.
To get a better idea of what owning a townhouse versus a condo costs, talk to your realtor to get the cost differences in your area.
Remember, you don’t pay the realtor to help you find a property, they get paid by the seller when the home sells.
Homeowners Association Fees
Townhouses typically have lower HOA dues because they usually require less maintenance and have fewer amenities.
But, that doesn’t mean you’ll always pay less to maintain a townhouse. If the exterior isn’t covered by HOA then you’ll be responsible for hiring a gardener to handle the landscaping or a roofer for roof repairs, or a painter to handle any chipped paint.
With a condo, the exterior maintenance costs are covered within the HOA fees.
Types of Maintenance and Ownership
One of the most significant distinctions between a condo and a townhouse is the level of maintenance that the owner is responsible for.
When you own a condo, you’re only responsible for the inside of your specific unit, and you’ll normally pay monthly homeowners’ association dues to take care of the exterior, amenities, and common property maintenance.
There are two types of ownership for townhouses: fee simple and condominium.
Because you only own the inside of a townhome when the ownership type is condominium, the upkeep of the home’s exterior and landscaping is paid by HOA fees.
With a fee simple, you’ll be responsible for maintaining your home, as well as the frontyard, backyard, and side yards.
Which is better for investors?
While both condos and townhouses have advantages and disadvantages depending on who you are and what you want to accomplish with your life, we choose condos over townhouses.
Condos are not only easier to live in , but they’re also easier for investors to rent out as income properties because they require less upkeep and maintenance over time.
With condos, the only thing investors would need to keep in good condition is the interior of the unit. The exterior is manged by the HOA.
Buying a condo or townhome now, can mean rental income later on.
Condos or townhomes are great for first time home buyers. It’s a smaller investment than a single family home, and less maintenance.
Once you are ready to upgrade into a larger home, it’s easy to rent them out.
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