Deborah Rigsbee Miller EcoBroker,REALTOR
Coldwell Banker HPW
Really: A condo is a form of ownership. In a condo, you own everything inside the 4 walls of your unit. Everything else is commonly owned by the condo association. That's in contrast to, say, a coop, where you don't own anything individually--you own shares entitling you to ownership of a unit. And those are in contrast to what you'd think of as ownership--where you own both the inside and the outside of a structure. Also, you own the ground and the lot it's on.
A townhouse, on the other hand, is a type of structure--typically a unit with one or two shared walls. That's in contrast to a single-family home, which is a stand-alone structure.
You can have condos that look like apartment units. Or you can have condo townhouses. You can also have coops that look like apartment units or coop townhouses. And technically you can also have condo (and coop) single-family homes.
So, condo describes how you own a place. Townhouse describes the physical structure of the place.
Hope that helps.
The difference is that in a condo, you do not own the land that it sits on or the exterior of the building. It's basically like buying the interior of an apartment. In a townhome situation, you actually own the land it sits on and usually a stip of land front and back (although quite small). You also own the exteriors of the townhome and a portion between side by side units. HOA's typically take care of exterior maintenance & yard work on both types of properties.
Please let me know if I can help you further.
Susan Crawford, ABR, Broker, e-PRO
Triangle Home Crew Team Leader
Keller Williams Realty