In the United States, 17% of people live in an apartment, condo, or another multi-family building. If you are looking at real estate investing, both townhouses and condos are great options.
However, there are many key differences between a condo vs. townhouse that you need to be aware of.
Do you need help choosing between a townhouse and a condo? Keep reading this guide to see which option would be best for you!
What Is a Condo?
Before you can choose between buying a condo or a townhouse, it is important that you learn more about each type of property. A condo, also known as a condominium, is a residential unit that is owned by an individual.
It is a unit in a building, similar to an apartment complex, but it doesn't have a landlord. Instead, each unit is individually owned and is a part of the community. Condominiums also have many different types of communal areas, including parks, pools, and more!
When you own a condo, you may feel like there is less space and privacy, but it provides you with an easy way to own your own property. You can also rent a condo, depending on your financial needs.
What Is a Townhouse?
A townhouse is another common type of multi-family property. Townhouses are often built with a connecting wall between each unit, but there are many cases where townhouses are built as standalone units.
Townhouses are more independent from each other and are usually found in a row of other identical houses.
Because the properties are often standalone, townhouse owners own the interior of the property as well as the land around the property. When you buy a townhouse, you gain many similar benefits to buying a condo, but you can have more independence as a property owner.
Differences Between a Townhouse vs. Condo
When you are trying to choose between the two different types of property, you must learn more about each difference between a condo and townhouse. This way, you will have a complete understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of each type of property.
Here are some of the key differences you should be aware of when choosing between a condo vs. townhouse.
Layout & Privacy
One of the basic differences between a condo and a townhome is the layout and level of privacy you get. As was mentioned before, a condominium is quite similar to an apartment unit.
You have an individual unit that resides in a much larger building. This means that you will have to share each of your walls with your neighbors. This makes it much more difficult to have the privacy that comes with a townhome.
Condos are also typically only on one level of a building.
On the other hand, a townhome provides a much more independent and private option for homeowners. While many townhomes do not share a wall with a neighboring home, you would only ever share one connecting wall with your neighbors.
Townhomes can also have multiple levels, which makes them feel much more spacious.
Types of Ownership
Next, you need to consider the types of ownership of both condos and townhomes. With both condos and townhouses, you are able to rent or buy these properties. When you buy a condo, you and all the other residents of the building share joint ownership of the entire building.
This means you also have to take care of other parts of building ownership, like maintaining the structure and common areas.
When you own a townhome, it is more similar to owning a single-family home. You own the structure of your townhome, as well as the surrounding property. The only difference between a single-family home is that you may share walls with another structure.
It is also important to consider homeowners associations when you buy a condo or a townhome. Homeowners' associations are one of the biggest differences between a townhome and a condo vs. a single-family home.
When you buy a condo or townhouse, you are often required to pay monthly fees for your HOA, which is run by other tenants. When you own a condo, this association will take care of general maintenance for the buildings, grounds, and even interior common spaces.
However, HOAs manage different things in a townhouse community. They will also manage the common areas, like the grounds of your property, but they will not manage the inside of your property.
With an HOA, you will also be required to stick to many different rules and regulations. For example, some homeowner's associations will not allow you to rent out your home and will have specific regulations for what you can include on your property. This may include things like decorations or even things like a shed.
HOA regulations will vary widely between different properties, so you should consider this when you are trying to choose between a townhome and a condo.
If you plan to sell your condo or townhouse, it is important that you consider the resale value of your properties. While there are many factors that can affect the resale value of your home, there are some other factors that may be in your control.
For example, condos may make a better impression for potential buyers because the HOA will keep the common areas and landscaping in pristine condition. Plus, condos typically have more amenities than townhomes which can be a great incentive to someone buying your home.
However, condos generally do not appreciate in value as fast as a townhouse would. You can learn more about the resale value of condos and townhouses by looking at properties for sale in your area and comparing the prices.
Costs & Fees
Another important difference to consider when you are buying a condo or a townhome is the additional costs and fees that you will be responsible for.
Typically, condos are cheaper to buy than townhomes. This is because you are not purchasing any land and you will not have to pay taxes for the land. However, condos generally have higher HOA fees.
Townhomes often have a higher upfront cost, but you may save money on other monthly fees. Other fees that you need to take into consideration are property taxes, home inspection costs, and even home insurance.
Condos will often require residents to have home insurance, so make sure you calculate all the costs of living before you choose between a condo and a townhouse.
Finally, you need to consider property taxes when you own any type of property. When you buy a townhouse, you will pay property taxes that depend on your square footage, how much land you own, and more.
You can expect to pay less in property taxes when you own a condo because you are paying taxes for a smaller space. You will also be splitting the cost of property taxes with other residents, instead of being solely responsible as a townhouse owner.
It is also important to consider the level of security that a townhome or a condo can offer you. In general, people believe that condos are more secure. Many condos will have door guards or require authorization to get into the building.
Plus, you will be one of many tenants in your block of buildings. This can discourage people from breaking into your home.
However, townhomes are privately owned, so you will be required to take care of your own security measures. Luckily, there are many security products that you can buy to help protect your townhome 24/7. If you want to protect your home or condo, you should reach out to your home security company.
They can provide you with many resources and products to improve your home security! Here are our top home security resources that can help you choose the best products.
Finally, you need to consider the amenities that are available when you are choosing between a townhome and a condo. Because condos have so many shared spaces, you can generally expect them to have more amenities.
For example, these can include pools, gyms, a playground, and more. Condos will often have more amenities because all the residents share them and contribute to the costs.
However, townhouses typically have fewer amenities. This is because you own your own property, rather than sharing a lot of common areas. Still, some newer construction townhomes will offer amenities, like a clubhouse or a playground.
Learn How to Help Protect your Condo or Townhouse with ADT
When you are buying a home, both condos and townhouses are great options. While they are both alternatives to single-family homes, they have differences in cost, types of ownership, amenities, and more.
Do you want to learn more about choosing a condo vs. townhouse and how to protect your home?
ADT can help! We offer home security systems that can help keep your property safe, no matter where you live. Compare our home security packages today to find ways to keep your condo or townhouse safe!