what is a PUD (planned unit development). how does it differ from a town home. Do i need to be aware of?

Asked by Anup J, Edison, NJ Thu Aug 21, 2008

potential issues/restrictions before considering buying a PUD?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Marc Paolella, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Thu Aug 21, 2008
Hi Anup,

A PUD can take the form of a community of townhomes or detached homes. There is a HOA (homeowners association) and a fee assessed to cover certain expenses. Membership in the HOA is mandatory. The HOA fee is often used to cover road maintenance, or maintenance of commonly owned land or buildings.

The difference between a PUD townhome and a condominium townhome is that in a PUD, you actually own the land your townhome sits on, and usually a small back and front yard also. In the case of a condominium townhome, all land is commonly owned and maintained. Some people prefer a PUD because of this feature. You can landscape and enjoy the limited land you own, rather than having no control whatsoever.

HOA fees for PUDs are usually lower than for condominiums because there is less to maintain. A PUD will often not have pools, clubhouses, or tennis courts (although they sometimes do).

There is no problem with PUD ownership, as long as the HOA is solvent and doing its job. You should look for demonstrated market acceptance of the PUD you are considering. In other words, sales activity.

Again, the main difference between a PUD townhome and a condominium townhome is that in a PUD, you own some land. In a condo, you don't.
Web Reference:  http://www.marcpaolella.com
6 votes
A PUD is an additional Zoning provision applied as an Overlay to the existing zoning classification, which allows residential or commercial units to be built closer together than normally allowed by the original zoning classification, provided that a certain amount of land is designated as common use for occupants of the entire tract. The percentage of open space for common use must be specified in the Zoning Ordinance, Lots are usually allowed to be reduced to less than the area required by the underlying zone in order to create space for the Common area. Building Setbacks can still be maintained or reduced according to language of the overlying PUD.
Flag Sun Mar 19, 2017
Anand_alexan…, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Fri Nov 16, 2012
The term “townhouse” has become a bit of a catch-all term in Arizona to refer to any home that shares a building with other units, particularly if there are no other units above or below. Most townhouses or townhomes in the Phoenix area are multiple story dwellings.

Townhome/Townhouse - Pros

Less expensive than single family homes
No neighbors above or below.
Often has a small fenced yard
Low maintenance lifestyle – HOA may cover roof repair and replacement, exterior maintenance, common area maintenance, and other expenses
Often includes amenities such as a community pool
Townhome/Townhouse - Cons

Noise from neighbors through shared walls
Homeowners’ association fees and politics, and CC&R restrictions
A townhome or townhouse will typically have a small yard or no yard
Might have common stairwells
2 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Thu Aug 21, 2008
A Planned Unit Development (PUD) is a planned community comprised most often of some variety of housing, recreation, and shopping, in one contained development or subdivision. A good example of a PUD in New Jersey is The Hills in Basking Ridge and Bedminster - it is one of, if not the, largest PUD's in teh country.

A town home refers to a style - generally a multi story living structure. The ownership of a town home is usually condo (absolute ownership of the unit pus an interest in the common elements) or coop (title held by corporation owned by and operating for the benefit of the residents, who are the stockholders).

Generally, in NJ people refer to Condos as single level living - and Townhomes as multi level. Condos and Townhomes, as well as single family homes can all be contained within the same PUD.

Hope that helps.

Jeannie Feenick
Search and connect at http://www.feenick.com
Web Reference:  http://www.feenick.com
1 vote
Joan P Rees, Home Buyer, Windsor Mill, MD
Tue Mar 6, 2012
The Drawings for our HOA Complex show a pathway marked as "HOA Easement" passing in front of a row of townhouses that is used as a common area walkway -- along which no individual townhouse owner has the right to chose to restrict access, exercise control or apply an entry toll -- yet, as a result from a common area repair roof-water rainage blockage on which the HOA shouldered the costs of repair nine-years or so ago, water accumulates on this pathway because 4' x 4' paving stones were not aligned and correctly leveled when they were reset into their original position. As a direct consequence, torrential rain causes serious water pooling that seeped through the porrous brick-facade siding of our end-unit townhouse and flooded the basement.

This problem was reported to the HOA many times over the intervening years without them endeavor to right this problem. Then, more recently, this water pooling directly caused the previously cited water pooling and the consequential flooding of our basement that overwhelmed our sump pump. The other part of our HOA-managed complex was built with a sub-standard water-main system that requires HOA approved expenditures of $ 11,000 on upwards each year. However, because good-ole Nationwide HOA insurance (who is not on anybodies side!!!) rejected the claim for our flooding, the HOA only approved paying for clean-up but not interior carpet and bookcase, etc., damage and, so far, has not leveled out the offending pathway. Does HOA Easement rights make it the responsibility of each townhouse for this pathway?
0 votes
If it is a common area, the maintenance and liability for it is the association's responsibility. You have informed them about the problem and they've done nothing. Hire an attorney and sue them to force a proper resolution to this problem.and for your property loss and legal expenses.
Flag Tue Aug 25, 2015
Morris Lyles, Agent, Columbia, SC
Fri Nov 14, 2008
Great answers- One thing to remember is that you need to get financial statements from the HOA and the management company-
Things to look for-
a capital account that has some funds in it- (this is for capital expenditures ie. new roof or paving)
good payment records from current residents- no past due dues
no outstanding leins or judgements against the property (lawsuits)

As the economy goes through this hard time we must be more careful than ever when looking into these type things.
0 votes
Anup J, , Edison, NJ
Fri Aug 22, 2008
Thanks Marc for the great answer.
0 votes
Laura Gianno…, Agent, Manahawkin, NJ
Fri Aug 22, 2008
I used to own a unit in a Planned Unit Development (PUD). Marc is right on the money. The most important thing is the Homeowners Association. Make sure its stable and reasonable
Yes you do own the land that your unit sits on. So if you do buy one be sure your attroney or title company is aware that it's a PUD, since the documents required differ.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more