If you are looking to downsize or to invest in a starter home, you might be taking a closer look at the condos and townhouses for sale in your area. While these two types of properties do have some similarities, buyers should be aware of the key differences between the two types of properties.
A condo is a legal description while a townhome is simply an architectural style. In a condo, the building is owned by its residents, with each tenant owning their individual unit as well as a portion of the common areas. The building is overseen by an HOA. Apartment style condos are the most common, but in some areas, townhouse style condos are available to purchase.
A townhome, on the other hand, is just a type of house that shares a wall or walls with its neighbors. These are popular with up and coming families since they are typically more affordable than comparable stand-alone homes. These homes are usually two or three stories and have a small front. Depending on the area, these homes might also include a one or two car garage.
The biggest difference between a condo and a townhouse is the homeowners association. While it is not uncommon to have an HOA in a community of townhomes, condos typically have a much more powerful HOA. In a condo, the residents own their unit and are able to use the common areas, but the common areas and outside spaces are owned by the HOA. If you purchase a townhome, you will typically own the home and the land surrounding it.
When you buy a townhouse, you are typically responsible for all of its interior maintenance and some of its exterior maintenance. While this gives you more flexibility with what you can and cannot do to the property, it also means that you bear the financial burden of these repairs. If you live in a condo, the HOA usually takes care of these aspects, freeing up your time for other activities.
This lack of responsibility can have its upsides and downsides. For example, if you love the idea of growing rose bushes outside your front door, you might want to opt for a townhouse where you will have control of your lawn. If you are indifferent to the landscaping as long as the grounds are well maintained, condo living might be a better fit for you.
A complex of condominiums will usually have more community spaces than a neighborhood of townhomes. Depending on your habits and your lifestyle, this could be a positive or negative. Before purchasing either property type, make sure that you know which amenities you will have access to and which expenses you will be responsible for paying out of pocket rather than through the HOA.
To learn more about the condo and townhome options available, get in touch with Huntley Realty and email us at homes(at)huntleyrealty(dotted)com or call 847.669.4010.