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:
Associate Real Estate Broker
MJ Peterson Real Estate
Serving the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Region