Condos vs. Townhouses: Which is Right for You?

    Condos vs. Townhouses: Which is Right for You?

    Feb 13, 2020

    Inventory is low and home prices are on the rise. Today’s buyers, especially first-time buyers, are increasingly open to alternative, more affordable options. A great way to build equity through ownership without paying for a single-family home is investing in a townhouse or a condo. These alternative living options allow buyers to enjoy essentially all of the benefits of homeownership with less maintenance and lower costs.

    Throughout Upstate cities like Greenville, Spartanburg and beyond, there are many opportunities for condo or townhouse living. In comparing condominiums and townhouses, there are several key differences that are commonly misunderstood. Understanding the distinctions are important for any buyer to note.

    Condos

    • Defined as a unit within a larger complex that is individually owned, often among other individually owned units.
    • One who purchases a condo owns the interiors of the condo, while the association owns the exterior of the buildings and grounds. The owner has exclusive use of a given area, typically within the unit.
    • A shared insurance is factored into the dues paid to the condominium association, but residents are responsible for their individual homeowner insurance.
    • Due to increased amenities, association fees are typically higher with a condo, and they cover day-to-day maintenance of the building and common areas.

    Townhouses

    • Defined as a single-family home that shares one or more walls with other, independently owned units. Typically, a row of identical homes that share walls.
    • The owner owns the interior and exterior walls, lawn, and roof.
    • The owner pays for insurance for both their home and property.
    • HOA fees are determined by the community’s HOA but are typically lower than a comparable condominium community. They cover day-to-day maintenance of the building and common areas, though there are typically less amenities.

    Buyers should consider the differences between a townhouse and a condo to decide what type of community they desire to call home. The biggest contrast lies in ownership. Condos give ownership of the interior of a unit while townhouses give ownership of the unit as well as the property. Both options allow buyers to build equity and enjoy a low maintenance lifestyle. Whether a townhouse or a condominium, every community, association, and unit is different. As a buyer, make sure you are working with a Realtor® to know your best options.