How do condos and townhouses work?

I'm getting ready to go visit the city I'll be moving to in a few months and have been having trouble finding houses to look at. I'm wondering if a condo or townhouse might work for me since the city seems to have so many. What is the difference between a condo and a townhouse? Are there other people living in with you, like roommates? If there is a yard, is it shared? I guess I want to know which parts (including the yard) are yours and which parts are your neighbors.. or however it works. I have a dog who likes to bite so don't know if it would be too "close quarters" for us. Thanks!!

3 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    Townhouse are like individual houses all joined together side by side. It can be 3-10 units per single building - just depends on the layout. They are individual living units so you don't have roommates (unless you advertise for one), however your wall can be the other side of your neighbor's wall, just like in an apt. The front yard is usually pretty nonexistent and the backyard size varies, but will be as narrow as the townhouse front/back as there are no side yards (the units touch - share a wall). You are usually responsible for the upkeep/mowing of your own yard.

    Condos are more like an apt., only you own it.

    Owners' associations can be a royal pain so read the fine print thoroughly and be sure you understand it. Many require strict conformity (you are restricted to what color the unit may be so it doesn't stand out garishly from the rest, what shade stain can be used on decks & fences [if they are permitted] or if chain-link is required, etc.). Many have strict noise ordinances, some do not allow flagpoles, all are crazy over assigned parking (what causes most discord, especially during holidays) and many do not allow pets. Some forbid shade umbrellas and awnings and I've seen one that forbid anything to be draped on a railing or fence (such a rug for drying, etc.). Be sure you note what they consider "a public eyesore."

    It's like renting an apt. - you really can't just "do what you want." The association pretty much regulates what you can and can't do, but you own it and are responsible for upkeep. If you have a home repair that is needed or unsightly, they'll hit you with a time limit in which to have it completed and tack on fines if it's not accomplished expediently and to their satisfaction.

    If your dog is a barker, or a fence hopper, this is probablly not a good choice for you.

    Good luck, whatever you decide.

    Source(s): Self - Reptile Hobbyist (lizards, snakes and turtles) 37 yr. and counting.
  • 1 decade ago

    With a condo you may have a small front or back yard and the rest is "shared." When looking at condos you will want to find out the name of the condo association is and find out the guidelines the community goes by. Talk to some of the folks who actually live there. You have to be careful not to end up in a place that is too restrictive or nit-picky but is looking out for your best interests at the same time. (You don't have roommates).

    Also, sure to ask what the monthly home association fee is. The more amenities--gym, pool, etc. the higher the fee is. In my city, the norm is around $200 a month, but I was able to find a condo where the fee is only $60.

    Everyone in my neighborhood has at least one dog and the limit is 2. Make sure you read all of the guidelines concerning your furry as well before signing the dotted line. Good luck!

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    A town house is the description of they type of building. A Condo is a unit that you purchase.

    A town house and condo are both tight quarter living, most do NOT have private yards and many prohibit pets. You need to do some serious research

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