Condos and Townhomes

Two housing styles – Condominiums and Townhomes

are often confused with one another,

but they differ in many ways

 Condos and townhomes are very different

Condos and Townhomes  

What you Own

Townhome:  You own the home, the ground beneath, the air above and sometimes a small yard.  There are actually two walls between you and your neighbor so your property line runs between the two homes.

Condo: You own the space inside the structure and a share of the common area of the complex which includes everything outside the unit.  The roof, walls, studs and subflooring are all part of the common area. Utilities are common area too until they enter the unit.

Legal Implication

Townhome: A townhome traditionally means a two-store, attached home although it can also be one-story.  By law, it is treated as a single-family detached home.

Condo: Since condos are usually stacked in multi-story buildings, it is easier to transfer ownership of a unit.  Developers must give buyers a public offering statement that describes the community, states what the owners are buying, and addresses amenities, common areas, dues, easements, restrictions, etc.

Governing Association

Townhome: The association owns and maintains the entire common area which includes everything except the units (roads, lawns, pools, etc).  In most cases (not all), the association also maintains exteriors.  Members pay fees to the association.

Condo: It has responsibility to keep up all common areas except what is inside the individual unit.  The association owns nothing except personal property such as maintenance equipment.

Insurance

Townhome: Typically, owners buy a traditional homeowners policy, however, in some cases the association buys a master policy at a lower per unit cost and includes this fee in the HOA dues.  This policy can sometimes cover everything: structure, personal property, liability.

Condo: the Association must maintain a master insurance policy capable of replacing the buildings.  This cost is included in the monthly HOA dues. Individual condo owners have their own policy to cover personal property and liability inside the unit.

Taxes

Townhome: You are taxed individually on your home and are assigned a share of the taxes on the common area.

Condo: Since you own a share of all the property, you pay a share of the taxes on it.

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