4 Differences Between Condos and Townhouses

If you prefer to live in a shared community as opposed to a single-family home, a condo or a townhouse might be right for you. Both offer many benefits, but they have some key differences to consider. Here are four differences between condos and townhouses.

1. Architectural Design

A condominium, or condo, is a unit within a building or property complex. They’re often found in high-rise buildings, particularly in big cities. A condo is similar to an apartment, but residents purchase and own their units. Condos often include some shared amenities, like a pool and a clubhouse.

A townhome, on the other hand, is a home that shares exterior walls with other homes. Usually, townhouses are larger than condos and have multiple floors. Townhouses generally have yards, and some come with an attached garage.

2. Ownership Structure

Ownership is a major difference between a condo and a townhouse. In a condo, you only own the space inside your unit. You don’t own anything outside your unit, including the exterior, land, and common facilities. However, you will have access to those areas.

In a townhome, the resident owns the home, including the interior and exterior, and the property it’s on. It’s more similar to a single-family home, although you’ll share at least one wall with a neighbor.

A condo can be a great option for an investor or homeowner who wants their own space but doesn’t have an interest in maintaining the exterior property. In contrast, a townhouse is often an attractive purchase for people who want more space and ownership of some land.

3. Shared Amenities

Both condos and townhouses offer community living but usually come with different amenities. Generally, condos have more shared amenities than townhouses. Often, these include security personnel, pools, rooftop areas, gyms, and shared event spaces. Some even come with high-end amenities like movie rooms or yoga studios. You’ll share these amenities with other residents, leading to a sense of community. However, the more amenities a condo has, the higher the homeowners association (HOA) fees might be.

Townhouses usually come with fewer amenities, though some provide access to community facilities. For example, there might be a community pool or a shared fitness center you can use. If you’re interested in having access to amenities, search for townhouses for sale in your area with those options.

4. Maintenance Responsibilities

In general, a condo owner is responsible for maintenance inside their home, but they don’t need to take care of any exterior maintenance. Typically, they pay HOA fees toward the cost of exterior maintenance, such as snow removal and landscaping. A townhouse owner, however, is responsible for interior and exterior maintenance of their homes. If you choose a townhouse, you’ll be the one responsible for mowing the yard and shoveling snow. However, you will probably pay less in HOA fees for this reason.

In the end, the choice between a condo and a townhouse comes down to your preferences. If you want to live in a building with shared amenities and no exterior maintenance responsibilities, a condo might be right for you. If you prefer to have more space and privacy, a townhouse can be a great choice.