What is the difference between a patio home and a condo?

Asked by Sharon Norton, Erie County, NY Sat Aug 21, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Joe Sorrenti…, , Buffalo, NY
Sun Aug 22, 2010
I am a Broker here in the Western New York Area and I can tell you Debbie gave the best answer.

Condo (condominium) is an architectural style that locally is an upper or lower apartment where you own the interior of the unit and we commonly refer to it as a Condo. There is the Legal form of ownership of a single unit in a multi-family community that is known as having Condominium Status that usually results in a reduced assessed value and lower taxes because you own the unit and not the land or the amenities (Pool, tennis court, docks, golf course etc) You do however own a share of all the common areas. In Western New York, a Patio home is a smaller single family home (usually 1 story or 1 1/2 story but there are some 2 story) where the developer is allowed to have greater density (more homes on a piece of land) sometimes referred to as cluster development. This allows the builder/developer to build each individual unit on a smaller lot and have the units closer together and closer to the road (set-backs). Patio homes in our area are usually detached. If they are attached, they are considered Townhomes. Each development is different so it is very important to review the offering plan and have a Real Estate Attorney review it before purchasing. We have several Patio Homes and Townhouses (attached) here in Western New York that have condominium status but that same builder (take Marrano for example) could have the same plan, the same buildings in another town but didn't get the Condominium status and those have a Home Owner's Association (HOA). With these, you are usually assessed like a single family home, even though you are on a private road and receive no town services (plowing, trash pick-up, lighting and sewers). The same can be true with some attached townhouses in our area as well such as Charlesgate in Glen Oaks or Village Station in Clarence. It also varies as to actually WHAT you own as well. You can own a Patio Home that has Condominium status but you may own the actual building and would be responsible for the maintenance of the exterior (siding, roof, painting etc) and even 1 foot of land off the foundation. Others, you only own from the drywall in, the windows and doors and the association owns the buildings and the land.
It gets complicated so be careful if contemplating a purchase. If you would like more information or details, feel free to call me at:

Joe Sorrentino
Associate Real Estate Broker
MJ Peterson Real Estate
Serving the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Region
1 vote
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sat Aug 21, 2010
Not to confuse you further Sharon, but since "condo" is really a form of ownership (although many think it describes an apartment type buidling) a patio home could be a condo...........patio home describes the style of the structure, the same way "townhome" does - condo describes the form of ownership. In a condo you are given a deed to the property and you own it outright - there usually are homeowner association fees that cover maintenance of the common areas, as well as a set of bylaws all owners must follow.
1 vote
Judi Monday,…, Agent, Green Valley, AZ
Sat Aug 21, 2010
Patio homes are a type of home where several are usually attached to each other and there is a shared wall between the units. Often there are enclosed "patios" in the front and back (hence the name "Patio") versus a typical yard.

Condos refer to a type of ownership where owners have access to common facilities such as elevators and hallways.
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Aug 21, 2010
A "Patio Home" is a style of home. I don't know what style, but it doesn't matter.

A "condo" is a form of ownership, and any style of home can be part of a condo, even detached single family homes.
1 vote
patio home is usually a zero lot-line single family house in a condo community with a very small back yard taken-up mostly by a patio, with a small amount of earth around the edge between the patio and fencing to plant a few things.
Flag Sun May 25, 2014
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Sat Aug 21, 2010
PATIO HOME: In most instances means
The term tends to imply a suburban setting and a unit of several houses attached to each other, typically with shared walls between units, and with exterior maintenance and landscaping provided through an association fee. ...

CONDO: In most instances means
•A condominium, or condo, is the form of housing tenure and other real property where a specified part of a piece of real estate (usually of an apartment house) is individually owned while use of and access to common facilities in the piece such as hallways, heating system, elevators, exterior ...

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more