Whether to buy a townhouse or a condo is a common question that we hear from clients. In some cases, house hunters have eliminated single-family homes from consideration due to higher prices generally associated with single-family homes. In other cases, a townhouse or a condo offer less maintenance concerns and may be preferred. Of course, they each have their pros and cons. To read our previous article about the pros and cons of a townhouse, click here. To read our previous article about the pros and cons of a condo, click here.
What is a townhouse?
A townhouse is typically a home with multiple levels that shares exterior walls with multiple neighbors. Oftentimes, they are seen in clusters of 4 townhouses per structure. It is common for townhouses to include amenities such as a pool or a park and they typically offer more space than a condo. Lastly, there is typically a homeowner’s association that sets rules for the community and maintains the common areas.
What is a condo?
A condo or condominium can be a unit in a larger building or a smaller cluster of homes. There will normally be a common entrance when in a complex, and there might also be a shared garage. Like a townhouse, these communities will also offer shared amenities such as a pool, gym, or clubhouse. In a sense, a condo is very similar to an apartment with neighboring units likely on each side or above and below you. Lastly, a condo is always run by a condominium association.
Things to consider
Although the size and structure of condos and townhouses may differ, the experience they offer may be quite similar. Although both types are typically governed by a homeowner’s association (townhouse) or a condominium association (condo), in general, condo associations tend to have slightly more restrictive rules. Below are some things to consider when deciding to purchase either a townhouse or a condo.
- Price: Typically, condos are smaller in size and thus less expensive than townhouses. Of course, this will be dictated by the location. For example an oceanfront condo will likely be more expensive than a land-locked townhouse.
- HOA/condominium association costs: These costs will depend on the number of units in the building or development, as well as the amount of amenities. Oftentimes, condo association fees are higher than the HOA fees seen for townhouses.
- Amenities: The types and number of amenities will vary from property to property. When performing your search, it is important to prioritize amenities that are important to you.
- Maintenance & repairs: As compared to single-family homes, you can expect to have fewer maintenance and repair issues with a condo or townhouse. When comparing a condo to a townhouse, there is typically less maintenance required with a condo. With a townhouse, it is quite likely that there is some exterior upkeep that will be required as well.
The choice between a condo and townhouse will ultimately depend upon your personal needs. Given the fact that many townhouses contain multiple levels, seniors may opt for a condo due to the lack of stairs in the home. Alternatively, buyers with children or pets may prefer living in a townhouse due to the extra indoor and outdoor space. As always, it is best to consult your real estate professional to determine which approach is ideal for you.
Are you thinking about buying a townhouse or condo in South Florida? We can help! Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! Also, be sure to download the free Florida Home Search app for your smartphone or tablet!