Condo vs townhouse, which is better? Condominiums (condos) are buildings divided into several units and are owned by individuals. Each apartment is owned and not rented.
Although there are several units in the building, certain common areas and amenities like hallways/corridors, swimming pool, elevator, laundry room, etc are jointly used.
Apart from the condos that are built like apartments, there are detachable condos. Single families own each unit but the yards, street, tennis courts, etc are jointly owned by the homeowners. The common areas and amenities are managed by the Homeowners Association.
A townhouse is a style of housing where the owners share one or two walls and adjacent properties with their separate entrances.
Townhouses are built uniformly in the community and the amenities in the neighborhood are managed also by the Homeowners Association.
Pros of a Condo
The advantages of condominiums are:
It is Affordable
Condos are more affordable than single-family homes. In many states, they are cheaper than buying a house or even renting it. If you are a first-time buyer, you can try buying a condo. You’ll enjoy your space even without spending much.
Reduced Insurance Cost
If you own a home, you’ll have to pay insurance for both the interior and exterior of the house. But living in a condo only means you are paying insurance for only the interior of the house.
You are also not paying it yourself, but you are paying it as part of the HOA fees monthly. The insurance will really reduce because every condo owner is paying the HOA fees also.
Condos Have Amenities and Appliances
When you buy a house, you’ll have to think of appliances to buy. Appliances can be expensive depending on which one you want.
Also, building amenities like a swimming pool in your house will cost you money, and maintaining those amenities will cost more.
A condominium comes with all of these so you don’t have to worry about buying appliances and amenities. The amenities and their maintenance are managed by the HOA.
Building Maintenance and Management
The condominium is maintained and managed by the Homeowners. Association You don’t have to worry about work on the yard or cleaning the corridor.
There are vendors for each of those maintenances. Each unit owner pays HOA fees which are used to maintain the utilities, common areas, and amenities.
Cons of a Condo
As much as condos have their benefits, they also have their disadvantages.
There is no Privacy
Since all the residents are sharing the common areas like the corridor, laundry room, etc, there won’t be privacy. You can’t be free to use the amenities anytime you want to.
If it’s your house, you will be free to use your appliances and amenities anytime. Also, you’ll have your privacy.
In condos, there’s no privacy because you are with many people and your privacy is only when you are in your room.
There’s Limited Parking Space
There’s no space for extra cars due to the fact that there are many residents in that condominium. You’ll only be able to park your car in your unit parking space. Bringing in another car is trying to take the parking space of another resident.
If you are living in a condo, you have to pay for the maintenance and management of the amenities (this is whether you are using them or not).
The HOA fees is paid monthly. And the fee is not static because the higher the amenities, the higher the fees. Also, you might be asked to pay levies for special things to be done in the building.
There are restrictions in condos. Restrictions on specific types of pets, noise, parking and so on are common in condos.
Pros of a Townhouse
Townhouses are becoming popular because they are bigger than condos and not as expensive as semi-detached/detached houses.
Below are a few benefits of buying a townhouse.
It is not too Costly
Although the purchasing price might be higher than the price of a condo, the price is still lesser than a detached/semi-detached house. With the space and amenities, the purchasing price is affordable.
Unlike in condos where there is no privacy due to all the residents in each unit sharing various common areas and amenities, a townhouse has privacy. You own your yard, laundry room, garage, etc.
There won’t be noise around and you can make use of your appliances and amenities anytime you want.
There are various restrictions in condos but in a townhouse, there is freedom. You can own the appliances and amenities you want, you can repair whatever appliance you choose, and you can have the kind of pet you want.
A townhouse has a parking space and it can accommodate more than one car. You can even have a basement in the house and you can decide to use it for whatever you want. You won’t get all these in condos.
Low Maintenance Cost
Townhouse owners also pay HOA fees which are used to maintain the neighborhood amenities. Landscaping is done by companies, not homeowners.
Electricity and Plumbing in public places are maintained using that fee. You can read more on what HOA covers for townhouses for more information.
Living in a townhouse is safe because you are closer to your neighbors and you all can watch out for one another.
Cons of a Townhouse
The disadvantages of a townhouse are:
It’s Difficult to Sell
Townhouses are very popular now with home builders coming up with newer designs. There are so many townhouse listings that townhouses have become difficult to sell.
People don’t buy townhouses because it is difficult to sell so if you buy a townhouse, you might end up living in it for up to ten years even when you have money to buy single-family homes.
Many people rent out the townhouse since they couldn’t get to sell it.
Townhouse maintenance is managed by the Homeowners Association. The more the amenities in the neighborhood, the more the fees.
The fees can become too much when the homeowners are struggling to pay them. Late payment has its penalties, same with non-payment.
There are really no restrictions to how you design the interior of the house but your design mustn’t affect the exterior designs. Also in some cases, local permits are needed for certain designs.
Condo vs Townhouse: Which is Worth Buying?
A townhouse might be worth buying due to the amenities enjoyed by the residents which might be expensive if gotten alone. Apart from the amenities and maintenance, a townhouse is not worth buying because it is difficult to sell.
No one wants to live in a small house forever, we all want to upgrade when we have the money to get another type of house.
The townhouse doesn’t sell easily because it is very popular. So for future sake, it’s better to start with a condo and save up for a single-family home.
Whichever house you want to live in is dependent on you and the money you have. Whether a condo vs townhouse, it all depends on you and the money you have.
You’ve read the pros and cons of living in a condo and also the pros and cons of living in a townhouse. The choice is yours actually.
The main difference between a condo vs townhouse is that the townhouse is more spacious and it has more privacy than a condo. There are both restrictions on the two types of houses and the residents of both houses pay HOA fees.