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Understanding the difference: Townhome vs. Condo

Buying your first home is an exciting journey, but it comes with a myriad of choices. Two popular options for first-time homebuyers are townhomes and condos. While both offer unique advantages, understanding the differences between them is crucial for making an informed decision.


Townhomes:


Pros:

1.    Ownership of Land: One significant advantage of townhomes is that buyers typically own the land on which the property sits. This can offer a sense of greater independence and control over your living space.

2.    More Space: Townhomes usually provide more living space compared to condos. Multiple floors and sometimes a small yard can make them feel more like a traditional single-family home.

3.    Low Maintenance: Similar to condos, most townhome communities offer shared services such as snow and lawn maintenance. 


Cons:

1.    Fewer Amenities: Townhomes usually don’t have some of the amenities you might find in a condo like a gym or pool.


Condos:


Pros:

1.    Low Maintenance: One of the primary advantages of condo living is the reduced maintenance burden. Exterior maintenance, landscaping, and common areas are typically managed by a homeowners' association (HOA).

2.    Affordability: Condos are often more affordable than townhomes, providing an entry point into homeownership for those on a tighter budget.  Just keep an eye on the HOA dues as older condos will often have higher dues to keep up with the buildings maintenance.

3.    Security: Many condos offer enhanced security features, such as gated entrances, doormen, and surveillance systems, providing peace of mind for residents.


Cons:

1.    More Neighbors/Shared Walls: Living in close proximity to neighbors means shared walls and possibly shared amenities. This can lead to less privacy compared to a townhome.


In conclusion, both townhomes and condos have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Your decision will ultimately depend on your lifestyle preferences, budget, and the level of responsibility you're comfortable with. Take the time to carefully weigh these factors, and consult with a real estate professional to guide you through the process of finding the perfect first home for you.


P.S. Not all condos are mid-high rises.  We often have clients who believe, based on the home's layout, they are buying a townhome only to later find out it’s a condo.  The difference is in the legal description. With a “townhome-looking condo” you don’t actually own the land making these homes a bit harder to finance!  A simple trick to confirm the property type is to look at the legal description on the county’s tax website.  A townhome’s legal description will include a “Lot/Block” reference whereas a condo will have a “CIC” (common interest community) description. 


Got questions?  Book a free 15 minute call with Jay here! 

 

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