Townhomes and condos are some of the most popular options in the housing market today, largely because they tend to be more affordable than single-family houses and because they come with many extra perks, similar to apartments. From the outside, condos and townhouses often look exactly the same. So what’s the real difference between the two?
- The biggest difference is ownership. When someone is looking into buying a condominium, they’re looking at buying an interior living unit; the exterior part of the condo all belongs to the condo owners association. Townhome ownership, on the other hand, is on two different ends of the spectrum: when buying a townhome, the person becomes the owner of both the interior and exterior space; when looking at townhomes for rent, the person will own neither the interior nor the exterior.
- Maintenance is another major factor that gets people interested in buying a condominium rather than buying or renting a townhome. Similar to apartments, most condominiums take care of interior maintenance and exterior landscaping, but residents pay an annual Homeowners Association fee to cover these costs. With most townhouses, residents must handle these tasks on their own, whether renting the townhome or buying it.
- Last but not least, the prices of buying a condominium and buying (or renting) a townhome can differ quite a bit. Condo owners often pay more for communal insurance, because the condo association is comprised, in equal parts, of all the condo owners in that particular complex. When damage occurs to any part of the building’s exterior, all residents in the community technically pay for the repairs. With a townhome, the residents are only responsible for insuring their own unit. and many townhome residents find that insurance rates are a bit lower.
These differences between buying a condominium and buying/renting a townhome may not seem very drastic, but it’s still important to consider which option will fit your lifestyle the best. There isn’t one perfect option for everyone, so don’t be afraid to do your research, ask a lot of questions, and get some extra help if you need it!