Townhouse vs Condominium Ownership
Townhouses and condominiums are often more affordable than single-family freestanding homes for home buyers looking to purchase their first home, but HOA fees can get high for communities with lots of amenities. Empty-nesters and retirees looking to downsize should consider the minimal maintenance and single level living that a condo provides while keeping in mind that convenience sometimes comes with a cost, i.e. the HOA and maintenance fees.
|Description||A building or community of buildings in which units are owned by individuals, rather than a landlord. Buildings often provide more amenities that townhouse communities.||Conjoined units owned by individuals. Often have a small backyard and feel more like living in a house. It’s common to share at least one wall and have two or more stories.|
|Ownership||Condo owners only own the interior of their unit. All other areas, including the building exterior, lawn and communal areas, are property of the Homeowners Association (HOA).||In most townhome communities, owners own their unit’s interior and exterior, including the roof, lawn and driveway, but not the communal areas.|
|Homeowners Association Fees||HOA fees for condos are typically higher than townhouses because they pay for exterior upkeep, such as lawn care, trash removal and pest control.||Townhouse owners pay lower monthly HOA fees because they pay for much of their own upkeep. Some maintenance and trash removal are still handled by the HOA.|
|Home Insurance Rates||Home insurance rates are usually lower for condos because owners have to insure only the interior of their unit.||Townhouses may have higher home insurance rates, since most owners need insurance to cover both the exterior and interior.|
|Maintenance Fees||Condo owners often pay higher monthly maintenance fees, to cover exterior and community space repairs.||Townhouse owners typically have lower monthly maintenance fees, but pay more out of pocket for exterior and interior care.|
When you are ready to start looking for a townhouse, condo or single-family detached home, contact a Certainty mortgage professional in your state to get pre-qualified first.