Townhouse vs Condo and HOA info

When you’re in the market for a home you will surely run across the different classifications of homes. And I’m sure you will have questions about the differences and the pros and cons of each. Hopefully this article will shed some light on the differences and you can make a decision on which is best for you.

We don’t have to talk too much about what a detached single family home is, its pretty self explanatory. There are some things to remember about them, while they are the most private type of dwelling in a city environment you have the most responsibilities and highest up keep costs. In a detached home all of the maintenance expenses are yours. From the small end, for example, you have a leaking pipe or a plugged sewer line you have to pay the bill. To the big end of things, like your house is sinking and going to crack in half the expense is all yours.

On the opposite end of the housing spectrum is a Condominium, which has the least amount of cost outside of your association fees. In a condo all you own is the inside of your unit, so paint on the interior walls and ceiling, the carpet/hardwood/tile, and the air space inside. Which is great because you don’t have to worry about landscaping or maintenance problems in the plumbing or anything that doesn’t involve the inside of your unit, saving you money and the hassle of dealing with contractors or maintenance people.

A Planned Unit Development is something right in the middle, you own the land and the unit that sits on it. You still with have your home owners association fees which cover different things based on the rules in whats called the C,C,andR’s. Some HOA’s (home owners associations) cover exterior walls and paint and landscaping and others only cover the community pool and street maintenance and street light electricity. HOA’s are tricky things to interpret, and some are better than others. They are a big part of the buying decision and should be discussed with your agent before deciding on making an offer.

I get asked a lot what the difference between a town home and a condo is, the best way to answer that question is with an explanation of what a town house is. A town house is an architectural style not a housing classification. This means a condo can be a town house and a planned unit development can also be a town house. It has become a popular generic term to describe non-detached homes which causes all the confusion.

I hope this helped  removed some confusion from the subject. I’ll eventually write more articles that go into further details on each kind. If you have any further questions in the mean time, feel free to contact me, I would be happy to help.

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