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The Differences Between Condos And Townhomes

By Author: Albert Mitchell

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Ownership

Popularly known as condos, condominiums are different from townhomes in the system of ownership. Condos are individual privately owned units in a large housing complex. Condo owners have a full claim on the interior of their condos ‘from the front door to the back door’.

On the other hand, townhomes are single housing units where owners claim the buildings and the land they stand upon. The owned area includes a residential building and surrounding land, which is often converted into a yard and garage.

Architecture

From low-rise apartments to luxurious skyscrapers with panoramic cityscape views, condos vary greatly in architectural style. Similarly townhomes also comes in all shapes and sizes like the single floored terraced buildings, duplexes and multistoried structures with small footprints. Usually townhomes are built in clusters with a common wall between neighboring units.

Homeowners’ Associations

Both condos and townhome residents can be members of a homeowners’ association that take care of maintenance of common areas in exchange for monthly fees.

Common Areas

Condo residents share more common areas and amenities than townhomes. Common areas in condos include hallways, staircases and parking lots. Services like Laundromats, gymnasiums, pools and other amenities are also shared by condo residents. Certain outdoor areas such as doorways, balconies and unreserved parking areas are often considered "limited common areas" where residents have restricted freedom of usage.

Townhomes have both private and common outdoor areas. Maintenance of area surrounding the houses such as yards is undertaken by the owners themselves. However, the job is often delegated to the homeowners’ association, which manages the private exterior areas as well as other outdoor amenities like parks and playgrounds.

Community

Both condos and townhomes offer the opportunity of community living. But with higher density of neighbors, condos have lesser privacy than townhomes, which leads to greater restrictions on several matters such as pet ownership, noise levels and usage of common areas. With higher independence, townhomes allow owners more space for themselves.

Lifestyles

While townhomes are generally located within gated communities or planned neighborhoods, condos have proliferated in the cities. As a result, townhomes are often associated with peaceful living. Condos tend to offer greater access to urban facilities and luxuries. Additional security measures and proximity to transportation lines add to the advantages of condo living.

Family Living

Traditionally families choose townhomes as the preferred residence. The concept of condos, which came to the United States first at Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1960, appeals to owners more as investments or temporary residences. However, the trend is changing as people are discovering the benefits of urban living offered by condos as family homes.

Condos and townhouses come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Brian Hero, an experience real estate broker, has helped many find the right home that suits best to the individual choice of living.

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