Differences between owning a Condo v. Townhome?

What are some of the major differences between a condo and a townhome? I think the big thing I am curious about is the maintenance with a townhome v. a condo? With Townhomes do you as the owner have to maintain the roofing, plumbing, etc... or does your association fees cover the expense.

Additionally do you pay property taxes, or is that expense included in the association dues with either a condo or townhome?

7 Answers

  • 3 months ago

    The answer varies a bit depending on how the title is held but generally the condo fee pays for maintenance of everything outside the walls of the condos, while the hoa fee on a townhome pays for everything outside the borders on the townhome lots.  So on condo's the fee pays for the building roof, exterior painting, sidewalks and other stuff; whereas on the townhome the fee only pays for maintenance of the streets and sidewalks and common areas (like a community park).  Generally the townhome hoa fees are considerable less than condo fees because they pay for less.

  • 3 months ago

    The main difference is that townhomes have a private entrance and are on one floor. Condominiums have a common entrance on the ground floor and often, a large common area on the ground floor. Many were converted from hotels.  The entrance to each unit is from a common hallway.

    Owners of townhomes are generally responsible for more repairs/maintenance. Plumbing out to where the water/sewer lines connect to the public lines is the responsibility of the individual owner. Beyond that, each individual townhouse development and HOA has a recorded declaration of covenants conditions and restrictions known as a CCR, which spells out owners' responsibilities (many condos have one as well).  So what you have to pay for can vary. Owning a townhome is much closer to owning a house.

    I've been in mine for 32 years. In the beginning, a portion of monthly fees was to be set aside to cover future replacement of roofs, windows, exterior doors, on top of all exterior maintenance.  I knew there would not be enough money to cover replacing all of that and would tell everyone so at the annual meetings. Our CCR provides for special assessments, the same amount charged to all owners to cover major expenses.

    To date we have had three.  The roofs was the big one - the builder had to have paid someone off with the town, because they got away with using material and practices that were below code - and the time for filing a lawsuit was long gone.  About 25% of the development had garage doors replaced when the board decided that it would be wise to replace the rest before a big jump in prices was coming that all of the local companies said was coming. So we were assessed for that, $250 per unit for a new door and hardware, with the HOA picking up the rest. And naturally, some of the 25% who had already got theirs objected to having to pay for what they already got.

    Many people got windows and doors replaced that we all contributed to. But it was clear that this was not sustainable. We were given the choice of more assessments or voting to change the 'matrix', the schedule of what's covered and not covered, in the CCR.  It was contentious but in the end the vote was to change the matrix. Now, and windows and exterior doors, and painting/staining of the deck are the responsibility of the individual owner.  So is periodic sealing of driveways. Any owner who fails to maintain their deck or driveway will be responsible for the cost of replacing those.

    As far as taxes go, each individual townhouse or condo owner pays property tax based on the assessed value of the property. The only property tax paid the HOA out of your fees is the tax on common grounds and improvements outside of the living units. A condo may see a higher tax bill because there are often amenities that not all townhome communities have - pools, clubhouses etc.

  • 3 months ago

    Condo is subject to the condo association.  Worse than HOA.  Condo you do pay property taxes on both.  Townhome yes, you maintain all aspects of the home.  Condo you are responsible for the interior, BUT you can be assessed for repairs on the outside as well.  

  • 3 months ago

    NOT ALL CONDOS or rental apartments HAVE A COMMON ENTRANCE...they are called garden style....

    town houses are multi floor

    if by condo you mean an apartment style...the difference is no steps in your loving space.

    you would have to check with the specific HOA on what is covered as a common element

    at least in my state, tax is only included in a CO OP, condo and townhouse, you pay yourself

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  • Judy
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    Condo assoc  maintains common areas like roof and  yard - you pay a monthly condo fee for that.  You pay your own property tax and pay to maintain your own unit.

  • martin
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    Usually the townhome owner will pay the same as any single family dwelling.  Condos are cooperative ventures that have various types of contracts and management, but always less individual control than townhome owners.

  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    Usually with townhouses its all your responsibility. But townhouses can have associations too. They probably don't cover as much and would cost a lot less.

    The problem with any association is the fees never decrease and over 10-15-20 years their fees can be massively more.

    Property tax is all yours.

    There is no free lunch with any of them.

    We have some not too far from me that are connected garden homes but the roofs, yards & pool are all included in the association and the fees are outrageous.  As a result, they sell for less than half what a house costs.

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