Pages Navigation Menu

Grow Your Own, Be Sure

Condos vs. Townhouses: Everything You Need to Know

Until today, there are still a great majority of people who are unaware of the differences between condominiums and townhouses. The main reason for this confusion likely roots from the many similarities that the both of them share. If you try asking experts in real estate property, what you usually hear are more of opinions and never the straight facts. This short article will give you some insights about the both of them, their similarities, as well as their differences.

To start, condos or condominiums are a form of real estate ownership. On the other hand, townhouses are more of a specific style of a building.

A condominium is best defined as having ownership of a single unit that is part of multi-unit place of residence. There is basically co-ownership of similar amenities in the residence with the likes of pools and recreation centers and other structures, land, and common areas among all the unit owners of the place of residence.

With townhouses, you are referring to attached structures that come with common walls and two or more stories. These are more or less the same as row houses or brownstones but have been made more popular on the east coast area.

What are the similarities of the two?
If you say townhouse ownership, this implies that you own the structure and any land that is associated with it. Thus, if you own a townhouse, you have a hundred percent ownership over it just like you do with a single-family home.

There is, however, one thing that makes both of these concepts confusing and interchangeable for some people. This is the fact that it has become very common for townhouses to possess some condominium-type of ownership. In simple terms, while the structure is a technically a townhouse, the ownership is more akin to a condominium.

So, what are the major differences between the two?
Common areas and ownership are the two major differences between condominiums and townhouses. For townhouses, you can have a hundred percent ownership of the townhouse as well as the land that is part of it. On the other hand, for condominiums, inside of your specific unit, you are only the owner of the so-called air space.

Each of the condominium owners has their respective equal share of the general common elements of the building. This comprises structural elements from the walls, roof, halls, pool, clubhouse, and many more.

In a townhouse community, on the other hand, if there are common elements, the Home Owners Association will have ownership over them by means of a deed. Even if the townhouse owners are members of the HOA, they still do not have any ownership interest among these common elements.

Limited common elements are what make condominiums very different now from townhouses. You see, these limited common elements are only present in a condominium type of ownership. These elements are things that are made for use among the individual condo unit owners alone. Some examples of limited common elements include patios, balconies, garages, and parking spaces. Though all condo unit owners have and own them, each of them is limited for use among particular owner(s).