Whether you’re looking to buy your first place, downsizing or upgrading, you may be wondering about the differences between a condo and a townhome and if one would better suit your needs.
Perhaps you’ve had your sights on condo life, but it has been suggested to you that it might be better to buy a townhome.
Units in condo buildings are owned by individuals, however, common areas such as fitness rooms, pool rooms, hallways, etc. are owned and shared by all. Condominium buildings also have homeowners’ associations to oversee the running of the building. It’s sort of like a small city within a building.
Townhouses are also owned individually, however they are houses on lots that are also owned by the purchaser, unlike condos. They’re built next to each other with one or two walls shared between adjacent houses.
Looking at your goals as a property owner will help you decide to either buy a townhome or a condo. Here are some points to take into consideration:
Cans and can’ts
You’ll have to pay taxes in either place, despite not owning the land in a condo. You’ll also have to pay a condo fee. Not so if you buy a townhome. Maintenance in a condo is taken care of by a portion of the condo fee. In a townhome, you’re responsible for all upkeep. There are also rules by which you’ll have to abide in a condo – things like pets that are allowed, type of decor, and even possibly what you might be allowed to keep on your balcony if you have one. In a townhome, you’ll be free to change the property to reflect your own style.
Some other things to ponder:
- You might get a larger mortgage for a townhome since condo fees are taken into consideration by lenders when figuring your “debt to income” ratio.
- Townhomes usually appreciate faster than condos, so you’ll likely do better if you decide to resell sooner rather than later.
- Townhomes tend to be quieter than condos, which have a larger area of shared walls. Common areas tend to make condos noisier as well.
- Townhomes are mostly located on two or more levels, which gives a greater separation between bedrooms and common spaces like a living or dining room. A condo is usually on one level with all spaces grouped together.