If the idea of maintaining the exterior an entire standalone home doesn’t appeal to you, we understand. And you’re in luck, because there are plenty of options that can still give you the space and comfort you need, without the maintenance associated with a house or bungalow. The most common arrangements for ownership in this case are townhouses and condominiums (condos). But what exactly is the difference between a townhouse and a condo?
A condominium is a kind of housing where a unit is privately owned within a larger property or building. In this case, all common areas (like roofs or pathways) are jointly owned by all residents. Townhouses are individual houses that share the adjacent walls between them. They are often a few stories tall and include the land in front of behind them. The HOA fees associated with condos (called ‘condo fees’) are generally higher than with townhouses because of the included maintenance that is paid for with the fees.
Aside from condo vs townhouse, what else should prospective buyers consider? These 10 things are essential.
Townhouses, though they have more private land per home, they generally have less common areas that are jointly owned. There may still be recreational or communal areas, such as dog parks or pools, available. Condos on the other hand have zero land ownership and plenty of communal areas that the entire building can enjoy.
You can almost always expect to find higher fees in condo associations than in HOAs for townhouses. Sometimes the return for these fees can be highly valuable, and even include water, cable, internet, and insurance. This is not to say that no maintenance is ever included in HOA fees for townhouses, as this can sometimes cover some lawn or waste services, but rather that it’s generally a more comprehensive set up in a condo arrangement.
No matter whether you choose a condo or a townhome, you should take the time to thoroughly read and understand the condo or HOA fees and what they include. Both types of organizations also generally have expectations for their residents, so be sure to fully understand what will be expected of you in your new home.
Some other factors to consider when you’re looking at both condos and townhomes are the privacy and security associated with these types of structures. Sharing a wall can be a challenge in the case of noisy neighbors, but generally daily noise shouldn’t be a problem. Of course, the perception of privacy is huge, so how you feel in a certain home is ultimately one of the biggest factors.
Regardless of whether you choose a condo or a townhouse, finding the perfect home for your needs is the most important thing. And sometimes the perfect home is hiding in plain sight, and you just need a little help from the right REALTOR ® to find it.
Interested in finding your dream condo or townhouse in DC, MD, VA, or WV? I’m licensed in all four locations and would love to help you get started on your path to homeownership. Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free and no obligation consultation on your housing options.