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4 Main Differences Between a Townhouse vs a Condo

There are so many different kinds of properties that you can buy when you’re househunting (or looking for an investment opportunity). How can you know which one is best for you?

When searching for homes you’ve probably come across townhouses, condos, apartments, and standard standalone homes. Some of these can have confusing distinctions.

image - 4 Main Differences Between a Townhouse vs a Condo
4 Main Differences Between a Townhouse vs a Condo

We’re here to talk about the difference between a townhouse and a condo so you can make the right decision for your next big property purchase.

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So, townhouse vs condo: what’s the difference? Let’s talk about it.

1. Physical Structure and Space

Townhouses and condos are physically different in some pretty obvious ways.

Some people refer to townhouses as row-homes. These homes are single-family homes but they share one or two walls with another house in the row.

They sometimes also have shared outdoor living spaces, though many have their own yards as well.

The shared living spaces are things like playgrounds, tennis courts, and pools.

Condos are different. They’re like apartments that you purchase instead of rent. They’re a small piece of a large building that you share with all other owners and tenants.

You have more shared spaces both inside and outside so you’ll pay higher fees to help support the whole building.

2. Cost

When it comes to pricing, condos and townhouses are similar when you’re making a one for one comparison.

Condos tend to be cheaper on average because you’re paying to be a small part of a large building. That said, if your condo has HOA fees, they can bring the price high enough to compete with a townhouse.

Townhouses will have higher mortgage fees but because there are fewer shared spaces, HOA fees can be minimal in comparison to the condo.

3. Resale or Investment Value

Looking at townhouse vs condo investment and resale options, there are a few factors to consider.

Assuming that the condo and the townhouse are equal sizes (which is unlikely, but possible) they both function as good investment opportunities for future sales.

Condos are growing in popularity due to the decreased responsibility and the higher cost of living driving people to live in more compact spaces.

Condos are often more common in large cities where people are used to living in apartments and may be more willing to live in an apartment building long-term.

In these large cities, these condos are a great choice if you’re in an area where rents continue to rise.

Townhouses will be more popular amongst families due to their similarity to standalone houses and reduced HOA costs. Townhouse rentals are also getting more popular as housing prices rise.

4. Freedom and Ownership

When you own a condo you have fewer options for individuality. You’re functioning as a part of a whole and everyone has to agree if you’d like to suggest changes to any common spaces.

Even your indoor space can be subject to these HOAs if you ever choose to move out.

While townhouses also have shared spaces you have more flexibility with your own yard and HOAs may be willing to allow some changes to the outdoor aesthetic if they feel it will improve the value of the overall property.

Townhouse vs Condo: Which Is Right for You?

When you’re considering the purchase of a townhouse vs condo, it’s important to consider all of the potential factors.

If you want more freedom and flexibility, choosing a townhouse is a great option for investors and those looking for a home for themselves.

If you’re looking for an investment opportunity alone, condos may give you the most potential.

Overall, it varies. The pros and cons of a townhouse or condo will depend on the person who’s buying it.

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