Condominiums vs. Townhomes

Posted by Ansley Atlanta 02/11/2019

One of the most confusing areas of the home buying process is often understanding the difference between a condominium and townhome. While the terms are often incorrectly used interchangeably, they are quite different.

Let’s start with a few basic definitions:

Single-Family Home:

This is the most common form of property ownership and is referred to by the legal term “fee simple.” The owner of a fee simple property owns the land, as well as everything on top of it and everything below it. Any common elements such as a pool or landscaped front entrance are owned and managed by the neighborhood homeowners’ association, not the individual property owners.

Townhome:

A townhome is a building style NOT a form of ownership. The majority of townhome communities are considered fee simple properties. As with single-family homes, a townhome’s neighborhood common elements are owned and maintained by the homeowners’ association, not the individual property owners.

Condominium:

While most people think of a condominium as a glitzy high-rise building, it is actually a clearly defined type of ownership. A condominium can take any form where each resident owns an individual living space called a “unit,” together with a shared undivided interest in, and responsibility for, the common elements and areas of the property. The common elements are maintained, not owned, by the homeowners’ association. Typical common elements include balconies, decks, parking areas and mail boxes.

No matter which style you choose, be sure to consider the various advantages and disadvantages each provides, especially when it comes to flexibility or owner’s rights and responsibilities as well as the additional costs involved with ownership.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about the home buying process – we’re here to help!

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