Are you looking for a new place to live at the moment? If so, you might start by considering a single-family home. You might also kick around the idea of moving into an apartment. But you shouldn’t sleep on two of the other great options that you’ll have—townhomes and condos! So, which of these two options is better? Well, it really all depends on where you fall on the townhome vs. condo debate.
Prior to shopping around for townhomes for rent or buying a condo, you should learn about each of your choices and go from there. It’ll make you feel better about making a final decision when it comes to a condo vs. townhouse situation.
It’s also advisable to search on a homeowners association website to determine what people have to say about townhomes in subdivisions and condos in high-end communities. In this way, you’ll have a good grasp of what is in store for potential townhome and condo owners like you.
Find out more about townhomes and condos below so that you can decide which side of the fence you’re going to fall on with regards to townhomes vs. condos.
What Is a Townhome?
People who have lived in townhomes in the past know exactly what they are. But there are also some people out there who aren’t 100% clear on what makes a townhome a townhome.
With this in mind, we’re going to kickstart our townhome vs. condo conversation by talking about what constitutes a townhome in the first place. It’ll ensure that you’re imagining the right kind of property when you’re thinking about townhomes.
Townhomes are narrow homes that typically have at least two and sometimes even three or four levels. More often than not, they’re also attached to other townhomes that surround them.
Townhomes also work a little bit differently than condos do in terms of ownership. When you buy a townhome, you’ll own the townhome itself as well as the land that it sits on and a small amount of land in front of and behind it in the majority of cases.
Most of the time, you’ll find a cluster of townhomes for rent and for sale in the Triangle real estate market in townhome communities. These communities are often governed by homeowner’s associations that collect fees from townhome owners and use them to pay for things like trash pickup, snow removal, and more.
What Are the Pros of Townhomes?
There are many townhome communities scattered throughout the country at this time. And when you drive by one, you’ll usually notice that almost all of them are occupied.
There is a reason for this. Many people have fallen in love with all the benefits of townhome living. Here are several of the benefits that you’ll get to enjoy when you own a townhome.
1. You’ll Own a Townhome and the Land That It Sits On
One of the best parts about owning a home is looking out of the windows in it and seeing all of the land that you own around it. This is a feeling that you’ll get to experience when you own a townhome.
You’re not going to own a ton of land when you buy a townhome. But you will own the land that your townhome sits on and some of the land that surrounds it. You’ll get the best feeling knowing that this land is all yours.
2. You’ll Have Plenty of Space to Spread Out in a Townhome
Townhomes obviously come in all different sizes. You can find everything from townhomes that’ll be great for a couple with no kids to townhomes that’ll be ideal for large families.
But generally speaking, you’re going to find that most townhomes will be spacious by nature. Even if they don’t offer the most square footage in the world, their multilevel designs will make them feel bigger than they actually are. You’ll like feeling as though you can really stretch out in one.
3. You’ll Get Access to a Wide Range of Amenities in a Townhome
A big perk of living in a townhome community is that it’ll usually have lots of amenities that you can use. From swimming pools to fitness centers to playgrounds, there are always tons of amenities around for townhome owners.
You are, of course, going to be paying for the privilege to use all of these different amenities. But even still, they’re going to improve your quality of life and allow you to love where you live.
What Are the Cons of Townhomes?
As you’ve seen so far, townhomes can be great in a lot of ways. It’s why so many people pick townhomes when having the townhome vs. condo debate.
But it’s worth noting that there are some downsides to owning a townhome. Here are some of the disadvantages of doing it that you’ll want to keep in mind.
1. You’ll Always Be Under the Watchful Eye of an HOA
In theory, having a homeowner’s association seems like it should be a good thing. And it is a good thing for those who live in certain townhome communities.
But there are some HOAs that can be very overbearing. They’ll impose silly rules that you won’t always agree with, and they’ll also limit what you’re able to do with the exterior of your townhome.
You should discover more about what it’s like to have an HOA and the HOA fees that come along with it before buying a townhome. You might not like the sound of dealing with HOAs and what they bring to the table.
2. You’ll Often Be Responsible for the Exterior of Your Townhome
As you’ll hear about in a second here, you won’t have to worry about the exterior of a condo when you buy one. Your HOA fees are going to cover the costs associated with things like roof repair, siding replacement, etc.
But when you buy a townhome, you’re going to be in charge of doing these types of things since you’ll technically own every aspect of it. you’ll need to make sure you’re ready to spend time and money maintaining and repairing the whole outside of your townhome.
3. You’ll Have to Pay More for a Townhome Than a Condo in Most Cases
The exact prices that you’ll have to pay for a townhome vs. a condo are going to depend on a number of different things. Everything from the size of a townhome/condo to the location of a townhome/condo will send the price of it up or down.
But you’ll usually end up having to pay more for townhomes than condos. You’ll need to decide if a townhome is going to work well with your budget before pulling the trigger on one.
What Is a Condo?
Unlike townhomes, condos usually don’t have multiple levels to them. They’ll typically consist of just part of one floor in a larger building.
In fact, there are many people who mistake condos for apartments. This is because the average condo is going to look and feel a whole lot like an apartment when you first see it. A condo complex is also going to look and feel just like an apartment complex would.
The biggest difference between townhomes and condos, though, is that when you buy a condo, you’re going to own the condo and that’s it. You won’t own the land that your condo—or your condo complex—sits on.
Another difference between townhomes and condos is that the HOA fees for condos will many times be on the higher side. This is due to the fact that these fees must be used to cover things like roof repairs, elevator maintenance, and more.
What Are the Pros of Condos?
When a person is purchasing real estate for the first time, it’s not uncommon at all for them to go with a condo over their other options. There are many benefits that you’ll get access to when you choose to go through the process of buying a condo yourself.
Just like we did with townhomes, we would like to walk you through some of the benefits of doing it. Here are some of the biggest selling points associated with condos.
1. You Won’t Have to Do Much to Maintain a Condo
When you buy a condo, you’ll be responsible for everything inside of it. From painting the walls to replacing the appliances, you’ll be in charge of it all.
But that’s all you’ll need to focus your attention on. You won’t have to be concerned about maintaining anything on the outside of a condo. And that includes the exterior of the condo itself. If any roof repairs or siding replacement has to be done, an HOA will handle it.
2. You Won’t Have to Pay Much to Purchase a Condo
We touched on this a little while ago when talking about the price tags on townhomes. But it’s worth repeating again for those with cost concerns.
Buying a condo is often going to cost just a fraction of what buying a townhome will. It’s also going to cost less to maintain it since you won’t have to do any exterior repairs. This will be welcomed news for those who want to buy a condo vs. a townhouse.
3. You’ll Get to Enjoy Many Amenities as a Condo Owner
One of the ways in which townhomes and condos are similar is when it comes to amenities. You’re going to find many of the same amenities in condo complexes that you would in townhome communities.
If you want to make sure you’re able to access a swimming pool, a fitness center, and more, you should be able to get these things when you go with either a townhome or a condo.
What Are the Cons of Condos?
If you want to buy something that is going to be easy to maintain from the second you first walk into it, you can’t go wrong with a condo. Lots of people love buying condos as their first homes since they help them get the hang of homeownership without forcing them to face too many challenges.
But there are some things that you might not be all that enamored with when you buy a condo over a townhome. Here are a few of these things.
1. You Won’t Get the Opportunity to Own Any Land
If owning a piece of land is something that’s of the utmost importance to you, buying a condo isn’t going to be the right move for you to make. You aren’t going to own even a speck of land when you purchase a condo.
You’ll need to buy either a townhome or single-family home if you’re interested in getting land as part of the deal.
2. You’ll Potentially Have High HOA Fees That You’ll Need to Pay
Buying a townhome and buying a condo are both going to come with HOA fees. But the HOA fees for a condo might actually be a whole lot higher than the HOA fees for a townhouse.
Why? Well, it all has to do with the fact that the HOA fees for a condo have to be used for maintaining and repairing the exteriors of condo complexes. There would be no way for an HOA to cover these kinds of costs without jacking up its HOA fees.
3. You Won’t See the Value of a Condo Go Up Very Often
If you live in a condo for a long enough time, you should see its value increase from the time you bought it. But the value of a condo isn’t going to go up as often as you might like.
If you only live in a condo for 5 or 10 years, you might have to settle for offers on it that are close to what you originally paid for it. You aren’t going to be able to turn too much of a profit on it.
Which Option Should You Side With in the Townhome vs. Condo Debate?
People have been having the townhome vs. condo debate for decades now. No one can seem to figure out which is actually the better option for people.
When choosing between a townhome and a condo, it’s also crucial to consider your budget. Aside from the upfront cost of acquiring the property, you also need to think of the maintenance cost over time. Condos are usually cheaper than townhouses since the former don’t have land. Because the land and exterior are shared by all residents, maintaining the common areas entails collaborative contribution.
Another important consideration is your privacy and safety, which highly depends on the structure of the condo or townhome. Some condos offer advanced security features, like round-the-clock security guards, video surveillance in common areas, and electronic door lock systems. Other condos don’t have these additional security features in place. On the other hand, townhouses often come with the same security features that a traditional detached house does.
Because condo owners can rent out or sell their property, your neighbors can vary from time to time. In addition, condo is considered a more serious investment than townhomes, which is more difficult to get out of if the quality of neighbors declines.
You’ll need to consider each option yourself to find out which one is the better choice for you. By thinking about all the pros and cons associated with them, you should be able to choose the one that’s going to fit your needs.
Interested in obtaining more real estate-related tips and tricks? Check out the other articles on our blog to track them down.