How is buying and living in a Condo or Townhome Different than Buying and Living in a House?
- Purchase Price: You can usually buy a condo or townhome for less money than a house in the same location. Condos and townhomes tend to be smaller than houses in the same area. Although price per square foot to buy a condo or townhome may be more, the absolute price is often less than a house.
- Maintenance: Living in a house, one is responsible for all maintenance and upkeep of the property both inside and out, which can be burdensome. But when you buy a condo or townhome, your HOA dues fund certain maintenance services. The exact services differ by complex, but the HOA generally covers exterior maintenance such as landscaping, while owners remain responsible for maintenance and repairs inside the unit.
- Facilities: Many townhome and condo complexes offer a pool and community center, which the HOA maintains. There also exist single family home subdivisions where the owners pay HOA dues to fund a pool or other common areas, but most single family detached home subdivisions do not have an HOA to provide such facilities.
- Density: Living in a condo or townhome, you are much closer to your neighbors, and there are more people living in a smaller area. The result can be a lifestyle with more sense of community security but also more with noise and traffic congestion.
- Rules and Restrictions: Condo and townhome complexes are shared living communities. There are rules in place to maintain a consistent lifestyle and appearance within the complex. This protects your investment and prevents your neighbors from doing things that might affect your quality of life. However, the rules also apply to you, so be prepared to live by them. Rules may include: what colors you may paint your unit, where you may park, noise levels at certain times of night, and restrictions on use of the common facilities, just to name a few.
Should I buy a Condo or Townhome instead of a House?
Buying and living in a condo or townhome is different than buying and living in a single family detached house. We would like to provide enough facts here for you to start making a decision about which type of ownership would work best for you. The next blog offers 9 Steps to Buy a Great Townhome or Condo. If you would like more information in addition to what is provided here, just contact Lauren.
A Condo is a legal description in which you own airspace within a complex. You may have neighbors above, below, and beside you. You are a member of the Home Owners Association (HOA), and you share ownership of the common areas with all other members of the HOA.
A Townhome is an architectural term meaning a unit that is attached to at least one other unit. When you own a townhome, you also own the land below and the air space above your unit. You may have neighbors on both sides, but you will not have neighbors above or below you. You are also in this case a member of an HOA which maintains the common areas in the development.
Buying a townhome or condo ownership can be more complex than buying a single family detached house without an HOA. The next blog will cover how to buy a great condo or townhome. What specific items should you take into consideration when making a condo or townhome purchase? You want to make sure you get a great property, and I want to make sure you get a great property!