What is the difference between a condo and a townhouse?

By Andrew Te

|10 min read

Many people are unsure of the difference between a condo and a townhouse. They seem similar, but there are some key differences between them.

A condo is an individual unit in a multi-unit complex, whereas townhouses are two or more units attached side by side on one lot. Although both offer many amenities of living like on-site laundry, dishwashers, and parking, there are some key differences in the design and function of each.

What is a condo?

Typically, condos are individually owned units in a multi-unit complex. Each condo has its exterior entrance, and the exterior of the building is usually managed by a homeowner’s association (HOA). An HOA may be able to help you with exterior maintenance, landscaping, and snow removal. It’s important to note that an HOA is not the same as a management company for your complex. The homeowner’s association takes care of larger issues like exterior maintenance, while the management company is responsible for the day-to-day operation of your complex.

Condo amenities are usually shared with other units. For example, there might be a community room or clubhouse might be shared with all the residents of your complex. The amenities are open to all residents and guests, including friends and family members. A condo can also have its pool, tennis court, or fitness center.

condo building

What is a townhouse?

Townhouses are two or more units attached side by side on one lot. Each townhouse is typically its unit with its exterior entrance and privately managed utilities. Townhouses are usually attached right next to each other by sidewalls. The condos inside the house are linked together, forming a single structure similar to any single-family home.

Townhouses usually have their exterior doors and a small yard. Depending on the size of your townhouse, you may also have a basement for storage or an additional laundry room.

There are pluses to owning both condos and townhouses. In both cases, there is usually a lot more space than what you would find in an apartment-like setting, including larger rooms and more closet space. However, it’s important to note that both are downsides (see next section).

Pros and Cons of Condo versus townhouse

Although condos and townhouses offer many similar benefits for residents, each also has its own unique set of pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Condos

One of the best things about condos is that they offer a sense of community and security. Another benefit of buying a condo is that if your complex includes a full-time management team, you won’t need to hire a property manager or handyman. Instead, the professional staff will handle all of those details for you.

And condos typically have more amenities than townhouses. By definition, condos are part of a multi-unit complex and therefore have access to pools, tennis courts and fitness centers. They also usually come with washers, dryers, and dishwashers, so you don’t need to worry about running out the door to get your laundry done or finding time during your busy day to wash dishes.

However, there are some downsides to condos as well. The first is cost. Because you’re sharing amenities with other units, your monthly costs will be slightly higher than if you had a single-family home on its lot. Also, HOA fees can vary significantly depending on the type of property management company that you hire.

Pros and Cons of Townhouses

One benefit of owning a townhouse is privacy. The outdoor spaces in townhouses are often limited to a yard or patio area, which puts you in control of decorating and landscaping. No one’s going to complain about the shade of paint on your front door, for example, or stop you from adding a privacy fence to your yard.

Another benefit of townhouses is the price flexibility. Townhouses are often more affordable per square foot than condos in similar areas because they’re not part of a larger complex. However, it’s important to note that having no HOA fees might mean that you have to pick up the slack.

Also, since townhouses are only two to three stories tall, you will have fewer options for remodeling or adding on to your unit later down the road should you decide that living in a single-story home isn’t quite what you’re looking for.

townhouse

What You Need to Check before Buying/Renting a Condo or Townhouse

Now that you know the difference between condos and townhouses, you know that they both are great options for people looking to downsize. Before you sign on the dotted line for your new place, there are a few important things that you should check. For starters, be sure to familiarize yourself with your HOA policies.

1. What are the association dues?

Before you buy a condo or townhouse, it’s important to ask what the HOA dues are and when they’re due. While you may be excited about your new place at first when you get hit with $200 in HOA fees every month, you might feel slightly different.

2. Is smoking allowed in common areas?

If there is a fitness center or pool in the complex, you’ll want to know if smoking is allowed near them. Smoking around a pool can leave a strong smell and increase the risk of fire, while some people may have respiratory issues that make being in an area with smoke uncomfortable.

3. Is there on-site parking available?

Parking is often at a premium in major cities. Make sure you know how many spots are available and if your unit will include a spot or if one is available for rent.

4. Will pets be allowed?

Pets are great, but they can also increase the wear and tear on your place over time. Be sure to ask what breeds are allowed and how many pets you can have before signing your lease.

5. How is utility responsibility handled?

While condos may have a shared energy bill, sometimes that bill gets larger in an apartment complex because each unit has its own HOA, which means the bills go up for everyone in the community. Before signing the contract, make sure you know where utilities are included in your condo or townhouse.

In addition to these 5 questions, always ask for a copy of all association documents when looking at a property. They’re usually in the listing and contain important information about HOA policies and may even include bylaws that can help you decide if it’s truly the place for you.

Why You Need top real estate agents when Buying/Selling Your Property

Buying or selling a home can be a daunting process, especially if it’s your first time. It can be not easy to know what steps you should take or where to turn for help. Consider hiring a real estate agent if you’re hoping to avoid some of the more common mistakes people make when buying/selling. The following are some reasons you should hire a real estate agent.

1. They can guide you through the process and explain everything!

One of the most frustrating things about buying or selling a home is not understanding all the steps involved. When you hire a real estate agent, they can help explain what goes on at each step and even give helpful advice that could save you money.

2. They know what’s going on in your area!

While you might think that buying or selling a home is the same everywhere, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Your real estate agent knows exactly what’s happening with properties in your area and can help guide you through the process of finding your dream home.

3. They can help you with tough negotiations!

When it comes to buying or selling a home, one of the most difficult parts is negotiating. If you’ve never sold or bought a property before, it may be hard to know if you’re getting a good deal. A real estate agent can handle all of this for you and make sure you get the best possible deal.

4. They know how to prevent you from making a bad investment!

While buying or selling a home may seem like one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, it’s even more important than most realize. A real estate agent can help guide you through all aspects of buying and selling so that you don’t find yourself making a bad investment.

Now that you know a few of the major benefits of hiring a real estate agent, what are you waiting for? Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, get in touch with an experienced real estate agent today. They can provide some great insight and help guide you through this difficult process from start to finish.

Contact FastExpert Inc. For Real Estate Services And Guidance.

When you’re looking to buy or sell a home, it can be not easy to know where to turn. If you’re looking for expert guidance and advice, contact FastExpert Inc. today. Our real estate agents are highly trained in their respective fields and will provide you with some excellent information that could help make your next real estate transaction much easier. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, our experienced real estate agents can provide some useful insight and guidance that could help save you time and money.

You can contact FastExpert Inc. by completing our Contact Us form or visiting our website. An expert from our team will be in touch as soon as possible.

FastExpert

FastExpert

FastExpert was founded in 2014. Our mission is to connect people looking to buy or sell a home with top real estate agents in their area. FastExpert was ranked #134 fastest growing company in America in 2018 by Inc 500. We have over 50,000 top producing agents in our network covering the entire US and have put over $5.5 Billion of property listings on the market. Let FastExpert help you find an agent!

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