Kathleen-rey…, Home Buyer in San Luis Obispo, CA

what is the meaning of "condo" vs "townhouse" vs "duplex" vs "multi-family" homes?

Asked by Kathleen-reynolds, San Luis Obispo, CA Tue May 14, 2013

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Very good question, Kathleen. These are different terms sometimes used incorrectly.

With a condominium you own the interior air space solely, as well as an undivided interest in the real property including the structures. With a townhome you own your portion of the structure and the real property directly underneath it as well as an undivided interest in the common real property. Though condo and townhome developments may look the same and have similar HOAs, there are some very big differences For example, state law requires that the HOA of a condo project be responsible for certain maintenance and repairs while the individual owners in a townhome project may be individually responsible for those maintenance and repair items.

Townhomes are one type of Planned Unit Development (PUD) that include individual ownership of real property. Another type is the twin home. From the street these look like common duplexes but they are, in fact, individual homes on individual lots with the lot line running through the common wall.

A duplex looks like a twin home but, in this case, both units are on a single lot. A multi-family property generally refers to a property with multiple units. This would include a duplex, triplex or apartment complex.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue May 14, 2013
is a townhouse look like a semi detached house o mid terraced pls.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 13, 2015
a twin home is a duplex with two owners; a duplex is owned by one party
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 12, 2015
A condominium is a form of ownership.
A townhouse is a style of architecture, meaning it has stairs and several levels, as opposed to a flat. A flat is all one one level thus more useable square footage. Although our demographic is composed of many retired folks, flats are difficult to find in San Luis Obispo.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 13, 2013
Hi Kathleen, please see the definitions below:


(Always have your Realtor® check public record as many listings incorrectly state a property as "Townhome" when in actuality the property is a "Townhome-Style" Condo).



0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 14, 2013
Condo means that you own the air space and all the homeowners in the condo complex own an equal portion of all the land in the development. It is a legal term.

A townhouse or duplex is the style of the home. Duplex meaning one shared wall (and owner may own both or one of the units).

Townhouse is the style. It is not a legal term.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 14, 2013
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